KHARTOUM - Fighting over control of a gold mine in Sudan's Darfur region has killed more than 500 people and destroyed 68 villages since January, a Sudanese lawmaker said on Monday, sharply increasing estimates of the casualties from the violence.
Law and order has collapsed across the arid western region since mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the Arab-led government in Khartoum in 2003, accusing it of neglecting Darfur.
Arab tribes in the region, many of whom were armed by the government to help quell the Darfur insurgency, turned their guns on each other in January in battles for control of a gold mine and other resources.
The United Nations earlier said the clashes between the Bani Hussein and Rizeigat tribes in Jebel Amer in North Darfur had displaced 100,000 people and killed more than 100.
On Monday, Adam Sheikha, a lawmaker for the El Sireaf area that includes the mine, told reporters 510 people had been killed and 865 wounded since the outbreak of violence - the first estimates covering the whole of the recent fighting to come from a member of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party.