CAIRO — An airstrike in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, on Saturday killed at least 17 people, including five children, health officials said, as fighting continued between rival generals seeking to control the country.
The attack was one of the deadliest clashes in urban areas of Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan between the army and a powerful paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.
It was unclear whether the attack was by plane or drone. Army planes repeatedly targeted RSF troops and the RSF reportedly used drones and anti-aircraft weapons against the army.
Conflict in Sudan erupted in mid-April, ending months of escalating tensions between army leaders and the RSF.
Saturday’s strike affected the Yormouk neighborhood in southern Khartoum, where clashes have been concentrated in recent weeks, according to the Sudanese health ministry. The area is home to a military installation controlled by the army. At least 25 homes were destroyed, the ministry wrote in a Facebook post.
The dead included five children and an unknown number of women and elderly people, and the injured were hospitalized, the ministry said.
A local group calling itself The Emergency Room, which helps organize humanitarian aid in the area, said at least 11 people were injured in the strike. He posted images of homes damaged in the attack and people searching through the rubble. Other images claimed to show an injured girl and man.
The RSF said in a statement that military planes bombed the area, killing and injuring civilians. He claimed to have shot down a military MiG fighter jet. The paramilitary group’s claims could not be independently verified.
A military spokesperson did not respond to messages seeking comment.
The conflict has thrown the African country into chaos and turned Khartoum and other urban areas into battlefields. The paramilitary force has occupied homes and other civilian properties since the start of the conflict, according to residents and activists.
The clashes killed hundreds of civilians and injured thousands more. More than 2.2 million people have fled their homes to safer areas inside Sudan or crossed into neighboring countries.
Alongside Khartoum, fighting raged in Darfur, a vast region in western Sudan. Genena, the provincial capital of West Darfur province, has seen some of the worst battles in the conflict, with tens of thousands of its residents fleeing to neighboring Chad.
Arab militias known as the janjaweed recently joined the clashes in Geneva alongside the RSF, according to residents and activists.
On Wednesday, West Darfur Governor Khamis Abdalla Abkar was abducted and killed hours after accusing the RSF and allied Arab militias in a television interview of attacking Genena.
His murder was blamed on the RSF, a charge the paramilitary force denied.