Sudan rebels lose main base

Khartoum (Reuter) - Sudanese government forces have captured the main base of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army at Torit, near the Ugandan border, Khartoum Radio announced yesterday. The radio quoted Sudan's military ruler, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as saying government troops entered the town, which the SPLA had held since 1989, on Monday afternoon.

Torit was strategically important because it was a supply route for the rebels, with a runway and a land route to Kenya.

In Nairobi, an SPLA spokesman, Garang Deng, confirmed that government troops had captured the guerrillas' headquarters. 'We withdrew our forces from Torit yesterday and we have laid siege to it. The government forces will be annihilated,' he said.