Sudan’s military said its forces clashed with Ethiopian troops and allied militia forces after they entered a disputed region on Saturday.
The Sudanese forces inflicted heavy losses of life and hardware during the fighting in the Al Fashaqa Al Sughra region, the military said.
The army said the Sudanese side suffered a “number of martyrs”, without giving specific details. However, Reuters quoted military sources as saying six Sudanese soldiers were killed.
These were the first clashes in months in Al Fashaqa. The two sides fought a series of battles there late last year when Sudanese troops moved in to regain control of the fertile enclave long settled by Ethiopian farmers, who are protected by government-aligned militias.
Sudan and Ethiopia held low-level talks to settle the border dispute but no agreement was reached. Ethiopia says Al Fashaqa is part of its territory.
The two countries, bound by strong social and cultural ties, are also at odds over a large hydroelectric dam being built by Ethiopia near its border with Sudan.
Khartoum is demanding that Addis Ababa shares live information on the operation and filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to avoid flooding and ensure that work on its own power-generating dams on the Blue Nile is not disrupted.
Ethiopia has assured Sudan that the dam would cause it no harm but has not yet offered concrete proposals on co-ordination with Khartoum.