Fear and anger follow Sudanese rebel strike

Fear and anger on Sunday followed a Sudanese rebel strike on a major town residents said had been left unguarded and was hit during coordinated attacks in the insurgents' most audacious act in years.

In Umm Rawaba, a previously peaceful community of thousands which bore the brunt of Saturday's attack, residents said about 300 youths stoned a convoy carrying North Kordofan state governor Murghani Hussein Zaki-Adeen, and federal Electricity Minister Osama Abdullah Mohammed.

"Where were you yesterday?" witnesses said protesters shouted after the governor visited the homes of people who died in the unrest.

Youths then set fire to local government buildings, said witnesses.

Residents complained that the town, the second largest in North Kordofan, had been left undefended when insurgents briefly occupied it on Saturday.

North Kordofan has been largely free from the rebel activity taking place in the Darfur region to its west, and South Kordofan to its south.

But a rebel coalition, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), said it attacked Umm Rawaba and several other areas as part of its strategy to reach the capital Khartoum and overthrow the 24-year regime of President Omar al-Bashir.