Rebels claim capture of two garrisons in Sudan's Nuba Mountains

Aug 22 (AFP)

Sudanese rebels claimed Wednesday that their forces had captured two major government garrisons and killed more than 20 soldiers in the Nuba mountains of southern Sudan's Kordofan region during the past two weeks.

The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) said in a statement sent to AFP that its 27th Brigade forces attacked and captured the Barkandi garrison in Dalany county after a three-hour battle on August 8. Nine government soldiers were killed and the garrison's commander, Lieutenant Mohamed Ali Abdalla, was captured in the rebel attack, the statement said.

In another "brief and decisive battle" on August 16, SPLA forces of the 26th Brigade captured the government garrison of Dari, also in the southern Kordofan region, killing 13 government soldiers, the statement added. The rebels dismissed government reports that they had suffered any casualties in the fighting.

"Only four SPLA combatants sustained minor injuries, contrary to a claim by the Khartoum government spokesman General Mohamed Beshir Suleman on August 19 that their forces had killed 15 SPLA forces at Dari," SPLA spokesman Samson Kwaje said.

The SPLA recently intensified attacks on Sudanese federal forces in a bid to shut down the government's oil exploration and exploitation in southern Sudan.