Scores feared dead after RSF militants attack village in Sudan’s Al Jazirah State

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(LONDON) — Scores of civilians are feared dead in Sudan’s Al Jazirah state following attacks by the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group around the village of Wad Al-Noora on Wednesday.

“Up to a hundred” people were killed as the RSF militia besieged the village, attacking the village twice with heavy artillery, the Wad Madani Resistance Committee said in a post on social media, recounting eyewitness statements.

“The Rapid Support militia committed a bloody massacre against the residents of the village of Wad Al Noura,” wrote the committee, a civilian group that non-violently opposes the militant groups engaged in a civil war with Sudan’s government

Fighting broke out between the Sudanese Army (SAF) and the RSF group in April 2023 following months of tensions linked to a planned transition to civilian rule. The now 13-month conflict has precipitated one of the “world’s worst humanitarian crises,” and killed at least 15,000 people, according to the United Nation. Clashes between the RSF and SAF have taken place recently in Al Jazirah state.

Videos posted on social media since Wednesday appeared to show lines of bodies in shrouds in the village’s public square awaiting burial.

“An Inventory is underway, despite lack of communication networks and the internet in the village,” wrote the committee.

Al Jazirah state in Central Sudan is commonly known as the nation’s “breadbasket” state. It’s a key hub for humanitarian operations and the state that produced over half of Sudan’s cereal production and the main area for national grain storage.

Many civilians – including some who have spoken with ABC News – had sought refuge in the state after being displaced by conflict from other parts of the country.

The RSF advanced in December to the State’s capital, Wad Madani, following days of heavy fighting with the SAF — including airstrikes and shootings. Tens of thousands were displaced.

RSF forces confirmed they attacked “three camps west, south and north of the Wad Al-Noura area” of Al Jazirah state at 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

“Our forces clashed with the enemy forces in the aforementioned camps located outside the city,” said the RSF. The paramilitary group said in a statement posted on X that they counted eight dead and a “number of wounded.”

ABC News was unable to independently verify the casualty counts. Local groups warned the true toll was likely much higher.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that they are “deeply concerned about the well-being and safety of civilians caught up in clashes.”

The latest attacks come as “intense” fighting continues in El Fasher, North Darfur, with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) telling ABC News that heavy shelling and shooting continue to impact the city.

“There is a mass casualty event almost every day,” said the group, which is also known as Doctors Without Borders.

The International Office of Migration (IOM) on Thursday announced the number of people internally displaced by conflict inside Sudan could surpass 10 million in coming days as famine looms.

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