Air strikes hit Sudanese capital, killing 17

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Air strikes killed civilians and pummeled multiple parts of the Sudanese capital on Saturday, residents said, as mediators pushed the warring factions towards a new ceasefire.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is entering its third month with neither side gaining a clear advantage.

The war has displaced 2.2 million Sudanese and killed hundreds, and has sent the war-weary Darfur region into a “humanitarian calamity”, the United Nations has said.

The army has the advantage of air power in Khartoum and its neighbouring cities Omdurman and Bahri, while the RSF has embedded itself in residential neighbourhoods. On Friday and Saturday, the army appeared to ramp up air strikes, hitting several residential neighbourhoods.

In a speech posted by the army on Friday, top general Yassir Al-Atta warned people to stay away from homes the RSF had occupied. “Because at this point, we will attack them anywhere,” he said to cheers. “Between us and these rebels are bullets,” he said, appearing to dismiss mediation attempts.

The Khartoum health ministry confirmed a report by local volunteers on Saturday that 17 people, including five children, were killed in the Mayo area of southern Khartoum and 25 homes were destroyed.

The strike was the latest in a series of air and artillery attacks on the poor and densely populated district of the city where most residents are unable to afford the cost of leaving.