Khartoum arms fire R370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer )
KHARTOUM - Sudan dismissed as "misleading" Israeli allegations it
supplies arms to foes of the Jewish state and said there was no foreign
involvement in a munitions factory Khartoum says was bombed by Israel.
poor Muslim East African country has long been seen by Israel as a
conduit for weapons smuggled to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, via the
Egyptian Sinai desert.
Four people were killed after fire broke
out a week ago at the Yarmouk arms factory in the south of Khartoum, and
the following day Sudan said an Israeli air strike was responsible.
Israel has not commented on the fire.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, director of policy and political military affairs at the Defense Ministry, refused to address allegations
of Israel’s involvement in the attack.
“We need time to understand exactly what happened there, but the role of Sudan is clear: It is a dangerous terrorist state,” Gilad told Army Radio.
A Sudanese foreign
ministry statement issued late on Monday said: "We confirm what everyone
knows - Iran is not in need of weapons made in Sudan, whether for
itself or for its allies."
It said Israel was "trying hard to
leak misleading information through various sources known to be
connected to Israel in an effort to provide justifications and pretexts
for its abominable action."
"This includes talk about an alleged
relation between the Yarmouk compound production and Iran, Syria, Hamas
in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon," the statement said.
Iranian warships that docked in Port Sudan on Monday
were on a routine
visit, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti said, denying the ships'
arrival had anything to do with the Yarmouk factory.
movement of the Iranian ships is a routine movement. Their entry to Port
Sudan is well known and no secret," he told reporters in Khartoum.
Monday, Iran's official news agency said the helicopter carrier Khark
and destroyer Shahid Naqdi had docked in Sudan bearing a "message of
peace and friendship," triggering speculation the visit was related to
The vessels will be open to the public for a full day
during their stay from October 28 to 31, state media reported, quoting
armed forces spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid, adding that Pakistani,
Egyptian, Indian and other vessels had made similar visits. Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report