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Sudanese recount their flight from fighting in Khartoum

Smoke seen in Khartoum as fighting continues   -  
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Marwan Ali/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


Thousands of people continue to escape to safety outside Khartoum, as fighting rages on in Sudan, despite rival forces agreeing to extend the latest truce.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands others wounded in the nearly two weeks of warfare been the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The intense warfare has caused widespread destruction and left people short of supplies, medicine, and cash, forcing them to leave.

A group of Sudanese resting at Wad Hamid, a town along the Nile River about 100 kilometres north of Khartoum, described the horrors they saw along the road.

"The fighting was constant for nearly three or four days, it was tough. Bombing and shooting day and night, everywhere. We didn't have any other option but to leave Khartoum and come here to the River Nile state,” said Khalid Taj al-Sir.

“On the way we saw many bodies along the road, burnt-out vehicles, police, and army posts. The entire road was like that until we arrived."

Tired of being shuttered at home, running dangerously low on food and the fuel needed to get out, Khartoum residents created Whatsapp groups to help people find transport out of the city.

Nazir Qamar, who teaches in the capital, says there was a constant sound of bombing and firing, and he even heard anti-aircraft fire close to his home.

“A lot of homes were damaged and destroyed. There was no bread and all the shops were completely closed. There was no water, no electricity. We were really suffering. During the first few days we couldn't even leave the house."

Tens of thousands of people have already fled to neighbouring countries, including Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

As the fighting spreads across the country, the World Food Programme warns that the violence could plunge millions more into hunger in a country where 15 million people, one-third of the population, already need aid to stave off famine.

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