Aletho News


Israel strikes Sudan military facility: minister

Al Akhbar | October 24, 2012

Sudan’s information minister has accused Israel of striking a Sudanese military factory Wednesday causing it to explode and burst into flames.

An AFP reporter several kilometres (miles) away saw two or three fires flaring across a wide area, with heavy smoke and intermittent flashes of white light bursting above the state-owned Yarmouk facility in southern Khartoum.

“I heard a sound like a plane in the sky, but I didn’t see any light from a plane. Then I heard two explosions, and fire erupted in the compound,” said an area resident who asked to be identified only as Faize.

Witnesses said the explosions started at about midnight on Tuesday.

A woman living south of the Yarmouk compound also reported two initial blasts.

“I saw a plane coming from east to west and I heard explosions and there was a short length of time between the first one and the second one,” she said, asking not to be named.

“Then I saw fire and our neighbour’s house was hit by shrapnel, causing minor damage. The windows of my own house rattled after the second explosion.” Abdul Rahman Al-Khider, the governor of Khartoum state, told official media that preliminary investigation found that the explosion happened in a store room.

He dismissed speculation that “other reasons” caused the incident.

Khider said some people were hospitalized because of smoke inhalation but he gave no numbers.

The blaze spread to a neighbouring area of grass and trees, he said, adding that an investigation was underway to find the cause.

In 1998 Human Rights Watch said that a coalition of Sudanese opposition groups had alleged that Sudan stored chemical weapons for Iraq at the Yarmouk facility but government officials strenuously denied the charges.

In August of that year United States cruise missiles struck the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in North Khartoum, which the US said was linked to chemical weapons production. Evidence for that claim later proved questionable.

The sprawling Yarmouk facility is surrounded by barbed wire and set back about two kilometers from the district’s main road, meaning signs of damage were not visible later Wednesday when an AFP reporter visited.

But at least three houses in the neighbourhood had been punctured by shrapnel which left walls and a fence with holes about 20-centimetres (eight inches) in diameter, the reporter said.

There was also slight damage to a Coca-Cola warehouse.

A source familiar with the Yarmouk factory said its main compound and storage area had not been damaged by the explosions or fire.

Hannan, a resident who gave only one name, said some people had fled the area on foot because of the early-morning explosions, while others put their children in cars ready to make a getaway.

The fires appeared to be extinguished by 0030 GMT, more than three hours after they began, an AFP reporter said.

There have been other mysterious blasts in Sudan.

On the country’s Red Sea coast in May one person was killed when a car exploded, about a year after Sudan blamed Israel for an air strike on a vehicle in the same area. Witnesses to the May incident said they heard a big blast that set the car ablaze and left two holes in the ground.

In January 2009, foreign aircraft struck a truck convoy reportedly laden with weapons in eastern Sudan.

A September report from the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based independent research project, said evidence from weapons packaging suggests that Chinese-origin arms and ammunition are exported to the Yarmouk facility.

From there they have subsequently moved to Sudan’s far-west Darfur region which has been plagued by conflict for almost a decade, the report said.

Small Arms Survey said it was not clear whether Yarmouk served simply as a recipient “or whether they repackage or even assemble the Chinese-made weapons.”

Khartoum is seeking the removal of United States sanctions imposed in 1997 over support for international terrorism, its human rights record and other concerns.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

October 24, 2012 - Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , ,


  1. Funny, when Israel accused, based on more evidence then this allegation, Iran of being involved in the terror attack in Bulgaria earlier this year people on this site claimed that the Israeli accusation lacked substance…

    I wonder, will those same people now claim that the Sudanese accusation lacks substance?!… I don’t think so…

    The glaring difference is, of course, the fact that it is uncommon for busses (in Bulgaria or elsewhere) to explode… Whereas it’s not uncommon at all for military factories to suffer explosions…

    Comment by Bambi | October 24, 2012 | Reply

    • Israel has a long history of aerial attacks on Sudan whereas Iran has never committed aggression in modern times. A glaring difference that you ignore.

      Comment by aletho | October 24, 2012 | Reply

      • There’s a long history of ALLEGED Israeli aerial attacks on Sudan… As for Iran not being aggressive, it rather depends on how you define “aggression”…

        Nevertheless, I note there’s still not as much as single ounce worth of something called evidence suggesting Israel was behind the mishap at the military factory… In fact, there’s still not as much as single ounce worth of something called evidence suggesting this was anything but a run of the mill industrial accident at a military factory…

        Comment by Bambi | October 24, 2012 | Reply

        • Of course, to a Jew squatting on stolen land, the witness testimony “I saw a plane coming from east to west” and heard the aircraft concurrent with the explosions counts for nothing. Perhaps you could suggest another plausible aggressor.

          Comment by aletho | October 24, 2012 | Reply

  2. Of course, other then where I’m posting from you know nothing about me… Whether I’m a Jew or not has nothing to do with nothing… As for the event in question, one witness (plane, east to west) does not make evidence… In fact, a plane flying the opposite way could also be Israeli… Can you guess what military planes do after they complete their mission… They return home… So, they can chose to attack from any direction…

    Also, the witness doesn’t claim to have seen an airplane (Israeli or otherwise) but rather to have heard one… Suppose that what he heard was a cruise missile instead of a plane…

    As for what MIGHT have happened, as long as there’s no actual proof this was only a run of the mill industrial accident at a military factory… The only difference being that the Arab world is used to their leaders blaming Israel for everything that’s wrong in their countries…

    Comment by Bambi | October 25, 2012 | Reply

    • I can rely on past history to inform on current likelihood:

      In 2009, a 17-truck convoy carrying weapons in northeastern Sudan was attacked from the air, killing dozens.

      Citing two US officials, The New York Times reported that the attack on the convoy was an Israeli operation to prevent what they call “arms smuggling” into the Gaza Strip.

      Comment by aletho | October 25, 2012 | Reply

  3. BTW, officially Israel and Sudan are at war due to the latter having declared war on Israel… So even if it was true that the Israelis are to blame, what’s exactly wrong here?!… This was a military target by definition…

    Comment by Bambi | October 25, 2012 | Reply

    • So… conversely, there would be nothing wrong with a Sudanese attack on any Israeli military installation?

      Comment by aletho | October 25, 2012 | Reply

      • That is indeed the case… However, I somehow doubt that we concur on the definition of what constitutes an “Israeli military installation”… Specifically, I presume (though I may be wrong) that like so many other “anti-Israelis” your definition of “Israeli military installation” is basically anything as long as it serves the Israeli economy and/or as long as there are Israelis (civilian or otherwise) around…

        Comment by Bambi | October 26, 2012 | Reply

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