Sudanese Warring Parties Trade Blame for Damaged Dam South of Khartoum

Smoke rises above buildings behind a nearly deserted street in Khartoum, on June 10, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
Smoke rises above buildings behind a nearly deserted street in Khartoum, on June 10, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
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Sudanese Warring Parties Trade Blame for Damaged Dam South of Khartoum

Smoke rises above buildings behind a nearly deserted street in Khartoum, on June 10, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
Smoke rises above buildings behind a nearly deserted street in Khartoum, on June 10, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)

The Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) blamed each other on Saturday for a strike that damaged a bridge over the Jebel Awlia dam south of Khartoum, the latest piece of key infrastructure to suffer in a seven-month war.

The extent of the damage to the dam was unclear but serious damage to the dam threatened major flooding of the White Nile. In recent weeks, a bridge in the capital Khartoum and a crucial oil depot were damaged in strikes, for which the two forces also blamed each other.

Fighting has raged in recent days in the Jebel Awlia area, an impoverished district in southern Khartoum state, displacing thousands. The RSF said earlier this month that it had seized an army base in the area.

The local "emergency room" volunteer group said in statements that civilians were killed in raids by the Rapid Support Forces, as well as in the crossfire as the army and RSF traded artillery in the area.

Exact numbers have been hard to get amidst damage to telecom networks.

Fighting broke out in Khartoum in April amid tensions between the army and RSF over the integration of their forces during a transition to democracy.

Since then, the RSF has taken control of most of the capital Khartoum on the ground, and has been expanding southward.

Simultaneously, it has managed to take control of most of the western Darfur region, with analysts saying it has gained momentum in its efforts to cement control over as much of the country as possible, bolstering its position in ongoing peace talks.



Israeli Forces Pull Back after Gaza City Offensive, Leaving Dozens of Bodies

Palestinians gather as they inspect the damages after Israeli forces withdrew from a part of Gaza City, following a ground operation, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Gaza City, July 12, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas
Palestinians gather as they inspect the damages after Israeli forces withdrew from a part of Gaza City, following a ground operation, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Gaza City, July 12, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas
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Israeli Forces Pull Back after Gaza City Offensive, Leaving Dozens of Bodies

Palestinians gather as they inspect the damages after Israeli forces withdrew from a part of Gaza City, following a ground operation, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Gaza City, July 12, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas
Palestinians gather as they inspect the damages after Israeli forces withdrew from a part of Gaza City, following a ground operation, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Gaza City, July 12, 2024. REUTERS/Dawoud Abu Alkas

Israeli forces retreated from some Gaza City districts overnight after a fierce, week-long military offensive, leaving dozens of dead and wrecked homes and roads in the Palestinian enclave's biggest urban area, residents and rescue service said on Friday.

The offensive, 10 months into Israel's campaign to eliminate Hamas militants, took place as US-backed mediators sought to finalize a peace deal that would free remaining hostages taken by the militants in their cross-border rampage on Oct. 7.

According to Reuters, the Gaza Civil Emergency Service said teams had collected around 60 bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces over the past week from the area of Tel Al-Hawa and the edges of the Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City.

Both residents and rescue teams cautioned that while tanks withdrew from some areas, Israeli snipers and tanks continued to control high ground at some locations, and warned residents against trying to return to their homes in those areas.

"There are bodies scattered in the streets, dismembered bodies, there are bodies of entire families, there are also bodies inside a home of an entire family that was completely burned," Gaza Strip Civil Defense spokesperson Mahmoud Basal said in comments carried by media in Hamas-run Gaza.

The Israeli military had said on Thursday that its forces were working to dismantle Hamas capabilities in Gaza City, and that it "follows international law and takes feasible precautions to mitigate civilian harm." It said the same was not true of Hamas.

The armed wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad said they had fought fierce battles against Israeli forces, attacking them with anti-tank rockets and mortar fire, killing and wounding many. There has been no Israeli army comment on those claims.

Home to more than a quarter of Gaza's residents before the war, Gaza City was largely razed to the ground in late 2023, but hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have returned to homes in the ruins. Israel has once again ordered them out, though it is unclear where residents can go safely. Israel controls most of Gaza's borders and is also attacking central and southern Gaza.