Sudan's RSF claims it shot down army fighter jet

Paramilitary group says it arrested pilot after he landed with parachute

Smoke rises after clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum. Reuters
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Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group has claimed it has shot down an army fighter jet in the Bahri district as heavy fighting raged across Khartoum on Tuesday.

“The brave men were able to arrest the pilot of the plane after he landed with a parachute,” the RSF said.

It accused the army of committing “heinous massacres” in greater Khartoum on Tuesday as reports of heavy clashes raged near Omdurman and other districts.

“We saw pilots jumping with parachutes as the plane plunged to the ground,” a witness in northern Khartoum, who asked not to be named over security fears, told Reuters.

The armed forces led by Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan have been at war with the RSF – led by his former deputy Gen Mohamed Dagalo – since April 15, in a brutal conflict that has killed nearly 3,000 people and displaced millions.

A witness in Omdurman, across the river from Khartoum's city centre, also reported “heavy clashes using various types of weapons”.

Others said they could see “airstrikes in the area of the state television building”, where the RSF had launched an attack this week and fired anti-aircraft weapons on Tuesday.

In the capital's east, witnesses also reported clashes with machine guns.

The army “launched rockets and heavy artillery” on RSF bases in both central and northern Khartoum, another witness reported, with houses damaged and civilians taken to one of the few hospitals still functioning.

Medics warn the toll of dead and wounded from Sudan's war is likely to be much higher than recorded figures, with many casualties unable to reach health centres, two-thirds of which are out of service.

In both Khartoum and the western region of Darfur, fighting has mainly hit densely-populated neighbourhoods, with bombs falling on homes and bodies left in the streets.

There have been only brief moments of respite for civilians, most of whom are trapped and have been forced to ration water, food, electricity and medicine for close to three months.

About 2.2 million Sudanese have been displaced within the country and 645,000 have fled across borders, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Updated: July 04, 2023, 12:57 PM