Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Deaths in Port Sudan air strike

(Al Jazeera) - An unidentified plane has bombed a car in the Sudanese city of Port Sudan, killing two people, the head of the provincial assembly has said.

"A plane bombed a small car which was coming from Port Sudan airport to the town ... There were two people in the car and both were killed. The vehicle was completely destroyed," Mohammed Tahir told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.

The plane flew in from the direction of the Red Sea, destroyed the vehicle at about 10:00pm (19:00 GMT), and returned in the direction from which it came, Tahir said.

The Sudanese Media Centre, which is reportedly linked to Sudan's state security apparatus, also reported the incident but gave no further details.

A witness told Reuters news agency that there was heavy presence of security forces at the scene, about 20km from Port Sudan, the capital of Red Sea State, 660km northeast of capital Khartoum.

"They are preventing anyone from getting close. I can see one burnt-out car," the witness said.

In January 2009, a convoy of suspected arms smugglers was hit by unidentified aircraft, also in Red Sea State. That attack was reportedly carried out by Israel - to stop weapons bound for Gaza. At least 40 people were reportedly killed.

The United States maintains a "counterterrorism" base in nearby Djibouti which has been active against al-Qaeda suspects on both sides of the Red Sea, according to AFP.

The Palestinian Hamas movement has also reportedly maintained a "base-in-exile" in Sudan, and Israeli officials have expressed concern about suspected arms smuggling through the country.