Rebels in West Sudan say they Captured Town on Chad Border, 03/27/03

Rebels in west Sudan say they captured town on Chad border

CAIRO, March 27 (AFP) -- Rebels in Sudan's western Darfur region said Wednesday that they captured Tina, a garrison town on the border with Chad, from government forces, in a statement received here by AFP.

The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), said it "captured and liberated" Tina on Tuesday. "SLA forces are now in full control of the Sudanese Chadian border in the Zaghawa area," said the statement, signed by the group's secretary general Mini Arkoi Minawi.

The SLM/A said "government forces fled in disarray leaving 56 bodies behind them," and that it had captured two heavy trucks, two Toyota Land Cruisers mounted with guns and ammunition.

The movement -- previously known as the Darfur Liberation Front -- called earlier this month for a replacement of Khartoum's Islamic government with a "united democratic" regime through armed struggle.

The Darfur rebels unveiled their existence in late February with the capture of Gulu, but Khartoum's forces retook the town in early March.

Sudan's Information Minister al-Zahawi Ibrahim Malek has said that tribes in Chad were assisting the Darfur rebels.

Darfur is one of the most arid and isolated regions in Sudan. It has witnessed tribal clashes and bandit raids for many years, but no armed political faction was reported active there until February.

« Back