Sudan rebel attack on Abu Karshola ‘kills 30 SAF, downs chopper’ – Bashir fails to show
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel coalition launched a 'lightning attack' on Abu Karshola in South Kordofan on Friday, in anticipation of a visit to the town by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir.
SRF military spokesman Colonel Al Gadi Rumboy told Radio Dabanga from the field that his movement learned that Al Bashir was on his way to the town to perform Friday prayers.
“While Bashir ultimately did not show, our attack killed 30 members of the Sudanese Army, including three officers: Captain Mohamed Abdul Rahim Sadik, First Lieutenant Hassan Ibrahim Gad Allah and Second Lieutenant Mohammed Ali Ramadi. We also captured three soldiers, Al Bushara Rumraan Aroob, Fakhr Al Din Hamid Osman and Tijani Issa Ali.”
Col Rumboy added that the SRF also captured a Land Cruiser with ten 120mm mortars and destroyed another five similar vehicles loaded with weapons.
“Al Bashir was expected to reach Abu Karshola at about 1:30pm,” said Col Rumboy. “The blitz was intended to prevent him from entering the town, so we attacked at 12:20pm and returned to cover at 12:45pm.”
Col Rumboy said that the government forces deployed a gunship, which the rebels were able to shoot down. “Six members of the gunship crew were burned when it crashed, while other three were thrown from the wreckage. Two died immediately. Second Lieutenant Ahmed Hussein Abdul Rahim, who suffered serious injuries, initially survived but died from those injuries shortly afterwards.”
Col Rumboy said the attack was meant as a message to President Al Bashir: “We are still in the field. Our tactical withdrawal from Abu Karshola was for humanitarian purposes only and not because we weak, so this was to let him know that we are still around.
Spokesman for the SAF, Col Al Sawarmi Khalid Saad, confirmed that a gunship has crashed near Abu Karshola, but denied that it was shot down. “Our helicopter was engaged in routine reconnaissance to sweep the area for rebels, and suffered a technical malfunction,” he said. He could give no details of casualties.
The Sudan News Agency (SUNA) has reported that SAF Chief of Staff General Ismat Abdul Rahman commended the “heroic role of the officers, staff officers, and soldiers... who have the upper hand in the liberation of Abu Karshola”.
Addressing a group of officers and soldiers after Friday prayers in the town, Gen Rahman said that “liberation of Abu Karshola is a message to the enemies of the religion and the homeland," affirming that the Armed Forces are determined "to liberate every inch of the homeland and cleanse the Nuba Mountains from the pockets of rebellion.”
Gen Rahman said that “the so-called rebels of the Revolutionary Front are only mercenaries who are carrying out a foreign agenda.” He called on the citizens of Abu Karshola to return to their home areas and exercise their lives normally.