Darfur peacekeepers: Government planes bomb rebel-held town

January 25, 2009 18:09

Sudanese government planes have bombed a rebel-held town in southern Darfur, killing a child, burning homes and sending civilians fleeing to a peacekeepers compound, the peacekeeping force said Sunday. The bombing on Saturday destroyed eight homes in the town of Muhajeria, home to 30,000 residents, many of whom were displaced from previous fighting, said Noureddine Mezni, spokesman for the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The government has vowed to take control of the town from Darfur's most powerful rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement. The rebels seized control of Muhajeria earlier this month from another rebel group that has signed a peace deal with Sudan's government. The conflict in Darfur has pitted the Arab-led government in Khartoum against mainly ethnic African rebels who rose up in 2003 complaining of discrimination. Khartoum is accused of unleashing Arab militias to wage a campaign of violence on ethnic African civilians, including killings and rapes.

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