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Middle East

Sudan blames Israel for attack on arms factory


Sudan yesterday accused Israel of carrying out an air strike on a large arms factory in its capital, Khartoum, that killed two people.

Sudan, which analysts say is used as an arms-smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip via neighbouring Egypt, has blamed Israel for such strikes in the past but Israel has always either refused to comment or said it neither admitted nor denied involvement.

A huge fire broke out late on Tuesday at the Yarmouk arms factory in Khartoum, which was rocked by several explosions, witnesses said.

"Four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant… We believe that Israel is behind it," the Information Minister, Ahmed Belal Osman, told reporters, adding that the aircraft had appeared to approach the site from the east. "Sudan reserves the right to strike back at Israel." The governor of Khartoum state had initially ruled out any "external" reasons for the blast but officials later showed journalists a video from the site. A crater could be seen next to two destroyed buildings and what appeared to be a rocket lying on the ground.

Mr Osman said an analysis of rocket debris and other material on the ground had shown that Israel was behind the attack. Israel's defence and foreign ministries declined to comment.

In May, Sudan's government said one person had been killed after a car exploded in the city of Port Sudan. It said the explosion resembled a blast last year it had blamed on an Israeli missile strike.

The Information Minister declined to say whether any weapons from Yarmouk had ended up in the Gaza Strip. Reuters