Army claims retaking locality in Nuba Mountains

KHARTOUM
June 28 (AFP)

The Sudanese army said Thursday its troop have recaptured a strategic area of the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan, killing or wounding more than 200 rebels in oil-rich areas, and are preparing to retake the towns of Raga and Deim Zubair in southern Sudan.

Speaking on state-controlled Omdurman Radio, Armed Forces spokesman General Mohamed Beshir Suleiman said the government troops Wednesday "liberated" Um Surduba locality in Southern Kordofan's Nuba Mountains in central Sudan and "inflicted heavy losses in lives and equipment on the rebels."

He described Um Surduba as "an economically strategic and densely populated area" that was under the control of rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Nuba Mountains.

The spokesman said the government troops killed or wounded more than 200 rebels in military operations launched during this week in a bid to "widen the security zone around the oil areas."

He said that the oil-producing areas "are now fully secure" and that government troops "are capable of maintaining security in those areas and of repulsing any attack on them."

General Suleiman said the government troops and the mujahideen (holy fighters) "are nowadays actively preparing for recapturing Raga and Deim Zubair" in southern Sudan's Bahr el-Ghazal region which were seized by the SPLA earlier this month.

"This is not a distant goal and will be achieved in the coming days," said the spokesman.