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Fighting breaks out in Sudan's Blue Nile state

Sudanese government claims they are pursuing rebels

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(Antler)

Fighting between forces of the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement has begun Friday in Sudan's Blue Nile State.

According to Sudanese officials, the Sudanese military is shelling the opposition, and starting an offensive in the border state between Sudan and the newly created Republic of South Sudan.

According to Blue Nile Governor, Malik Agar, members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) were attacked. Agar is chairman of the party, which is offshoot of the party currently governing South Sudan.

However, Al-Sawarmi Khaled, a Sudanese army spokesperson, said that SPLM-N forces attacked the southern entrance of Al-Damazin, the state's capital, reports Bloomberg.

The fighting comes after Sudanese officials accused South Sudan of aiding rebels in the country's Nuba Mountains, another border region, where a counterinsurgency campaign has killed civillians. The complaint, filed to the U.N., claims that Sudan has proof that South Sudan is aiding the rebels.

According to the New York Times, a statement from the SPLM-N claims that the National Congress Party (NCP) , Sudan's governing party, must answer "for the result of this naked aggression and attacks on civillians."

The NCP claim that rebels in Blue Nile started the fighting.

Sudan has been trying to disarm the SPLM-N in both the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. The two states fought with South Sudan during the decades long civil war. South Sudan gained independence on July 9, but since June 5, SPLM-N fighters have been clashing in Southern Kordofan. 

A cease-fire was announced last week in Southern Kordofan by Sudan's President Umar al-Bashir, but human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have claimed that the region is still being bombed by the Sudanese government.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/110902/fighting-breaks-out-sudans-blue-nile-state