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SUDAN: Renewed air strikes hit Khartoum as truce enter final hours

THE Sudanese army pounded paramilitaries in the capital Khartoum with air strikes Thursday while deadly fighting flared in Darfur, as a fragile US-brokered ceasefire entered its final hours.

Ahead of the expiry of a three-day truce at midnight (2200 GMT), the army said late Wednesday it had agreed to talks in neighbouring South Sudan on extending it “at the initiative of IGAD”, the East African regional bloc.

There have been multiple truce efforts since fighting broke out on April 15 between Sudan’s army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commanded by his deputy turned rival, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. All have failed.

The fighting has continued despite the US-brokered ceasefire that took effect on Tuesday, with warplanes patrolling the skies over the capital’s northern suburbs as fighters on the ground exchanged artillery and heavy machinegun fire, witnesses said.

Burhan agreed on Wednesday to the IGAD proposal for talks on extending the truce by a further 72 hours, the army added. The RSF’s response to the proposal remains unclear.

At least 512 people have been killed and 4,193 wounded in the fighting, according to health ministry figures, although the real death toll is likely much higher.

Despite the truce, the doctors’ union said at least eight civilians had been killed in Khartoum alone on Wednesday.

More than two thirds of hospitals in the country were out of service, the union said Thursday, including 14 hit during the fighting.

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Naija Times