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More Airstrikes Hit Khartoum

FILE: Smoke billows above buildings in southern Khartoum amid ongoing fighting between the forces of two rival generals, on May 16, 2023. One month since Sudan's conflict erupted, its capital is a desolate war zone.

KHARTOUM - Sudan's capital Khartoum and sister city Bahri came under renewed air attack on Friday as the war between the army and paramilitary forces entered its fifth week, deepening a humanitarian crisis for trapped and displaced civilians.

Air strikes targeted districts in eastern Khartoum and witnesses reported hearing anti-aircraft weapons used by the RSF. Bahri and Sharg el-Nil across the Nile river from Khartoum were subjected to air strikes overnight and Friday morning.

"On the road I saw about 30 military trucks destroyed by (air) strikes. There were bodies everywhere, some of them army and some RSF. Some had started decomposing. It was really horrible," said Ahmed, a young man making his way through Bahri.

The RSF is embedded in residential districts of much of Khartoum and adjoining Bahri and Omdurman, drawing almost continual air strikes by the regular armed forces.

The conflict has displaced an estimated 843,000 people within Sudan and put around 250,000 to flight into neighboring countries, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.

Some 705 people have been killed by the fighting with at least 5,287 injured, according to the World Health Organization.

As fighting raged, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan took the long-anticipated step on Friday of removing RSF chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, from his post as his deputy on the ruling Sovereign Council.

The two had run the council since 2019 when they overthrew strongman President Omar al-Bashir amid mass protests against his rule, before staging a coup in 2021 as a deadline neared to hand power to civilians for a transition towards free elections.

al-Burhan installed Malik Agar, leader of an armed group that had signed a peace agreement with the government in 2020, as Hemedti's replacement.