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Sudan: three civilians killed in hospital bombardment

Sudan: three civilians killed in hospital bombardment
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David Guttenfelder/AP2009


At least three civilians were killed on Monday in Sudan when shells fell on a hospital, a medical source said, as fighting between rival generals continued unabated.

"Shells fell on Al-Nau hospital in Omdourman, the northern suburb of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the source told AFP.

Omdourman is the scene of violent fighting between the regular army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, who have been at war since 15 April.

Human rights groups have accused both sides of targeting health facilities.

In August, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned that Al-Nau hospital "is one of the last health facilities open in Omdourman".

"It is also the only facility with an emergency trauma room or surgical capacity in northern Omdurman, where all the city's wounded are brought", said MSF.

According to the United Nations, more than 70% of the country's hospitals are out of action.

They have been bombed or occupied by fighters, and the stocks of those that are still functioning have been exhausted or looted.

Although most of the fighting was confined to the capital and the western region of Darfur, it has spread to areas south of Khartoum, according to witnesses.

In the town of Jabal Awliya, 50 kilometres south of the capital, doctors "have had to stop all work at the hospital since yesterday evening because of heavy artillery shelling", a doctor told AFP."Dozens of wounded" remained in hospital, awaiting urgent treatment, he added.

To date, more than 9,000 people have been killed in the Sudanese conflict, according to an estimate by the NGO Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (Acled), which is widely considered to be an underestimate. Monday's bombings came a day after fighting resumed in El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan state, 350 kilometres south of Khartoum. 

One child was killed and at least 16 others wounded in the fighting, while houses were destroyed, said a committee of pro-democracy lawyers who documented the massacres.

The UN estimates that nearly 5.5 million people have been displaced and made refugees by the fighting in Sudan.

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