KHARTOUM - Sudan on Monday denied its warplanes had bombed an oilfield seized by forces from South Sudan and blamed the south for any damage to the facility during fighting that has raged since last week.

South Sudan's Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters in Juba on Sunday that aerial bombardment of the oil facility in the Heglig region had caused serious damage. "They are bombing the central processing facility and the tanks to rubble," he said.

The fighting in the border area has drawn widespread condemnation from global powers and raised fears the former civil war foes could resume full-blown conflict.

The Heglig field was vital to Sudan's economy, producing about half of the 115,000 barrel-per-day output that remained in its control after South Sudan seceded in July, taking with it about three-quarters of the formerly united country's output.

"If any damage has occurred in Heglig it may have been on the part of the army of South Sudan. The Sudanese government charges South Sudan with any damage to the oil wells and facilities," Sudan's Information Minister Abdallah Ali Masar said, according to state news agency SUNA.

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