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Sudan: two Greeks injured, 15 people locked in church, Athens says

Sudan: two Greeks injured, 15 people locked in church, Athens says
Smoke rises from a central district of Khartoum, Sudan, on 16 April 2023   -  
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Marwan Ali/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Greek Foreign Ministry and media reports on Monday said two Greeks were wounded and hospitalised in Khartoum and 15 people were locked in an Orthodox church in the Sudanese capital where clashes between paramilitary groups and the regular army have left nearly 100 people dead.

"The two wounded Greeks are in hospital and so far there is no information about other wounded Greeks," a ministry statement said late Sunday.

According to media reports on Monday, the two were injured on Saturday as they left the Orthodox Church in Khartoum where the Orthodox Easter was being celebrated.

The Orthodox Metropolitan of Nubia and all of Sudan, Bishop Savvas, told Greek public television Ert on Monday morning that he and 15 others had been locked inside the Orthodox church in Khartoum since the weekend and that they could not leave because "it was very dangerous".

"We spent a quiet night (from Sunday to Monday)" but "a short time ago, violent clashes started, you hear gunshots irregularly", he added.

He said that among the 15 people in the church were "Greeks, Ethiopians, Sudanese and Russians".

The health of two Greeks in the hospital is "stable", Bishop Savvas said.

Asked about the situation inside the church, he said that "there are no particular problems" at the moment and that "supplies are assured".

"We are waiting to see what happens," he said.

He added that he was in contact with the Greek foreign ministry and the Greek ambassador in Cairo, but "for the moment it is very difficult to find a solution because of the current state of affairs".

A video released on Monday by private Greek television station Skai showed images of the interior of the church with sounds of gunfire outside.

"We are almost not sleeping (...) we are worried," Alexandra Kalomiri, a Greek woman inside the church who shot the video, told Skai, pointing out that among those trapped are "three small children".

The Greek Foreign Ministry's crisis management unit has been activated and "is in communication and coordination with the other EU member states" as well as with Bishop Savvas, the ministerial statement said.

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