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Rebels in Sudan's Darfur region said on Tuesday they beat back a government attempt to retake Golo town, where the region's insurgency began a decade ago.
"This evening our troops defeated NCP forces when they tried to attack Golo," Ibrahim al-Hillu, spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Army's (SLA) Abdel Wahid Nur faction, told AFP, referring to the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum.
He said there were numerous government casualties and the survivors fled westwards.
Sudan's army spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Rebel leader Abdel Wahid Mohammed al-Nur began the insurrection in Darfur on February 26, 2003 with the seizure and brief occupation of Golo in the Jebel Marra region.
On December 24 last year his forces announced they had retaken the town, capturing heavy machineguns, mortars, vehicles and other military equipment.
Nur told AFP last week that his men still held Golo, more than five weeks after seizing it in order to obtain weapons.
Prolonged rebel control of a population centre in Darfur is unusual.
"We want to liberate Sudan and maybe (the) liberation of Sudan will start in Golo," Nur said.
His faction belongs to the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a coalition of rebels from Darfur and two other Sudanese states, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The Front says it is fighting to topple the Arab-dominated Islamist regime of President Omar al-Bashir and install a system more responsive to Sudan's ethnic and religious diversity.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Darfur.