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Sudan Blames Chad For Cross-border Attack That Killed 18 Herders

Sudan has accused neighbouring Chad of a cross-border attack earlier this week that killed no fewer than 18 nomads in Sudan’s western Darfur region, a top commander says.

According to Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, armed Chadian assailants crossed into West Darfur province and attacked a group of herdsmen who were in an open area near the border towns of Beir Saliba and Ardeiba last Thursday.

Several herders were also said to have been wounded in the attack while their livestock was carted away, the council said Friday.

A Sudanese news outlet, Darfur 24 News, reported a minor clash Friday between Chadian and Sudanese forces in the area, saying three Sudanese troops were wounded.

Senior Sudanese Army, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the sovereign council, had travelled to Chad before the attack for a previously scheduled meeting Thursday with Chad’s acting president and head of the country’s ruling transitional military council, Mahamat Idriss Deby.

He had been in Darfur in the last couple of weeks to help calm tribal tensions and violence that has rocked the troubled region in recent months.

Dagalo attended the funerals of the slain herdsmen on Friday and urged tribal leaders and residents in West Darfur for restraint.

On Saturday, he met with a Sudanese-Chadian joint committee and held talks with local officials and tribal leaders to prevent a further escalation.

Sudan has called on Chad to find the attackers and return the looted livestock.

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