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First official evacuation of people from Sudan arrives in Jeddah

Evacuees from Sudan arrive in Jeddah   -  
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More than 150 people, including foreign diplomats and officials, rescued from battle-scarred Sudan, arrived in Jeddah on Saturday in the first official evacuation of civilians since fighting began.

Sudan's naval forces carried out the evacuation with the support of other branches of the army.

Among those safely arriving were 91 Saudi citizens and around 66 nationals from 12 other countries -- Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Canada and Burkina Faso.

The evacuees were greeted by soldiers handing out sweets for Eid.

Women and children holding Saudi flags were also seen getting off one of the ships.

Among those who arrived in Jeddah on Saturday was the crew of a Saudi passenger plane that was hit by gunfire while preparing to take off from Khartoum at the start of the fighting on April 15.

It was the first evacuation of civilians from Sudan since violence erupted there a week ago.

United States, Britain, France and China are planning to airlift their nationals out of Khartoum using military jets.

Clashes erupted on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and those of his deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The former allies seized power in a 2021 coup but later fell out in a bitter power struggle.

The conflict, much of which has taken place in Khartoum, has left hundreds dead and thousands wounded.

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