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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Report: Israeli troops roamed freely in Sudan

Speculation as to an alleged Israeli strike in Sudan dominated Sudanese press reports in the past week. The Al-Rakoba newspaper claimed that two Israeli Apache helicopters landed in an island off the Sudan coast where a radar station is located. According to the report, IDF soldiers roamed the island freely and the helicopters managed to return safely without being intercepted by the Sudanese Armed Forces.

The report further mentioned that the military forces arrived at the scene only after a report exposing the alleged attack was published. It said that local police, army and security forces could not agree on who was to handle the incident.

It was further reported that the Sudanese government kept silent on the issue. Unlike the initial report at the Al-Intibaha newspaper, Al-Rakoba claims that the alleged Israeli attack took place in late November. The Egyptian air force reportedly scanned the area in a number of sorties. Israel, it should be noted, never confirmed it had attacked in Sudan.

A commentator at the Sudanese Online website tried to shed some light on the mysterious strike. He claimed that the Sudanese Armed Forces asked Egypt to inform them whether its radars detect an Israeli invasion of Sudan's airspace or any Israeli submarine presence in the Red Sea. The commentator said that despite the army's denial, President Omar al-Bashir arrived at the scene via a helicopter. He remarked that Sudan could not protect its own soldiers.

After the president's visit, Sudan's intelligence chief General Mohammad Atta reportedly warned Bashir against visiting the area again, fearing he would be kidnapped or assassinated by Israel.


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