Sudanese students killed as aircraft bombs school

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Fourteen students and a teacher were killed when an aircraft dropped bombs on their school in Sudan, North East Africa.

Fourteen students and a teacher were killed when an aircraft dropped bombs on their school in Sudan, North East Africa.

Three bombs struck two outdoor classrooms in the attack at a village in the Nuba mountains in central Sudan.

A student who witnessed the atgtack said a government airplane was responsible, although there was no independent confirmation of this.

Stephen Amin, 24, a journalism student at Daystar University in Nairobi, filmed the aftermath with a video camera.

"People were running all over and people were dead," he said. "They were confused, crying and screaming, and the Antonov (government airplane) was still hovering. Bodies were scattered all over."

One 8-year-old child lay on the dusty ground, his intestines spilling from his stomach. A second boy, wandered around in a daze, apparently unaware that his left hand was dangling from his severed arm.

Since the attack, the villagers of kaouda have been hiding in the hills, amin said. Ten children were still missing, he said.

The bombing was first reported by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army.

The war between the islamic government of Sudan and predominantly Christian rebels in the south has left more than 2 million dead since 1983.

Government aircraft have been seen previously by civilians and international aid workers in southern sudan at the time when civilian targets, mainly hospitals, have been hit by bombs.

The rebels do not have any airplanes.

Traditionally the Nuba mountains have not been considered part of southern Sudan but the rebels are demanding that it be included in the area that would vote in a referendum on autonomy. That proviso is a sticking point in peace talks between the government and rebels.

Yesterday a UNICEF security officer described how he feared for his life during a week-long detention in Sudan.

Lee Peterson, of Virginia in the United States, said he was interrogated and threatened daily with beatings after he, two Kenyan pilots and a Sudanese aid worker were kidnapped by pro-government militiamen in southern Sudan on February 3.

"Conditions went from good to worse depending on how they felt that day," he said after he and the three others were released.

"They threatened to kill us, roughed us up a little bit...I was concerned about my life many times," he said.

He and his three colleagues were seized at Old Fangak in Upper Nile province, 500 miles south of the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

At the time, he was assessing whether the area was safe enough for deliveries of humanitarian aid. His plane, leased by the world food program, the UN Food agency, was surrounded by 75 militiamen as soon as it landed, he said.

The militiamen accused the United Nations of transporting military personnel in southern Sudan, which Mr Peterson denied.

He is based in Lokichoggio in North Western Kenya, the headquarters of Operation Lifeline Sudan, a UN-administered coalition of aid groups that provides relief assistance to southern Sudan.

For two days they were confined in the militia's compound, he said.

Mr Peterson said the militiamen interrogated him for several hours.

"I was spokesman for the group, got kind of loud and they didn't like it," he said. "I was pushed around, thrown against the wall and guns put to my face."

Comments