Sudan rebels widen Kordofan offensive

AFP-JIJI

Sudanese rebels said they attacked five areas in North and South Kordofan states on Saturday, widening an antigovernment offensive in one of their most audacious acts in years.

“This is a significant shift in the war in Sudan,” said Abdel Wahid Mohammed al-Nur, who heads a faction of Darfur’s Sudan Liberation Army.

“We are heading to Khartoum,” he added.

A regional political expert said the attacks were timed to the “failure” of peace talks this past week between South Kordofan rebels and the government.

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.

Sudan Armed Forces spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said troops confronted the rebels, causing “heavy losses” after they reached Abu Kershola in the far north of South Kordofan.