Sudan minister vows 'steps' against Israeli targets

President al-Bashir says country will not change policy due to "reckless" strike; Sudan military experts confirm: Weapons Israeli.

Khartoum arms fire R370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer )
Khartoum arms fire R370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer )
Sudanese officials on Friday criticized Israel for its alleged strike on an arms factory within Sudanese territory, with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir calling the attack "reckless" and Minister of Information Ahmed Belal Othman vowing "decisive steps" against Israeli interests, Kuwaiti news agency Kuna reported.
A huge fire broke out late on Tuesday at the Yarmouk arms factory in the south of the capital which was rocked by several explosions, witnesses said. Firefighters took more than two hours to extinguish the fire at Sudan's main factory for ammunition and small arms.
Sudan, which analysts say is used as an arms-smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip via neighboring Egypt, has blamed Israel for such strikes in the past, but Israel has either refused to comment or said it neither admitted or denied involvement.
"The reckless behavior is a manifestation of Israel's concerns and nervousness about the political and social upheavals in the region and about the progress of Sudan," Bashir said in an address to his nation on the occasion of Muslim id Al-Adha holiday. "Such aggressive acts by the Zionist entity could never force Khartoum to change its policies."
He added: "Our enemies cannot hinder our march towards building a coherent and prosperous society, comprehensive development and powerful army."
Meanwhile, Othman warned that Sudan would take "more decisive steps" against Israeli interests, which he now considers "legitimate targets" due to the strike.
According to the report, military experts confirmed that the munitions used in the attack were Israeli-made. "The sophisticated warplanes and weapons used in the attack are available to no country in the region except Israel," Othman said, adding that the "radar systems of Khartoum airport were neutralized shortly ahead of the airstrike."
Earlier this week, Sudan called on the UN Security Council to condemn Israel for its attack.
Neither Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu nor Defense Minister Ehud Barak have commented on the alleged attack.
Following the incident, around 300 people gathered at the courtyard of a government building where the Sudanese cabinet was in an emergency meeting, shouting "Death to Israel" and "Remove Israel from the map."
"Israel is a country of injustice that needs to be deterred," Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha, standing next to President Bashir, told the crowd. "This attack only strengthens our firmness."
Reuters contributed to this report