Clashes erupt in Sudan’s Khartoum week after alleged ISIS killings

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Clashes erupted Monday in the Sudanese capital between security forces and alleged extremists, state media and an AFP correspondent reported, a week after five officers were killed in the same area.

The shootout in the Jabra district of southern Khartoum prompted security forces to seal off streets, the correspondent at the scene said.

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It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties, but ambulances were seen rushing to the site.

State media including Sudan TV said “an armed clash with a terrorist cell broke out in Jabra.”

On September 28, Sudan’s intelligence services said five counter-terrorism officers were killed during a raid in Jabra targeting “a cell linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.”

It said 11 militants from different “foreign countries” were arrested while four others escaped.

The following day, a little-known extremist group claimed responsibility for killing the intelligence officers.

The latest clashes came with Sudan in the midst of a rocky transition following the April 2019 ouster of ex-president Omar al-Bashir.

Under Bashir, Sudan adopted a more radical brand of Islam and became an international pariah over links to international “terrorist” organizations and for hosting extremist militant groups.

Between 1992 and 1996, it also hosted Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden who was expelled under US pressure after Washington placed Sudan on its list of “state sponsors of terrorism.”

The US finally removed Sudan from its blacklist last December, after Khartoum agreed to normalize ties with Israel.

Khartoum faces a mountain of challenges as it seeks to bolster a transition to civilian rule, with fragmentation among political factions as well as dire economic woes.

On September 21, the government said it thwarted a coup attempt.

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