At least 40 civilians killed in airstrike on Khartoum market in Sudan
The death toll from an offensive blamed on the army in the capital's south is the highest in a single occasion since the war began.
According to a local volunteer group, at least 40 civilians were killed and several others were injured in a bombing on a market in southern Khartoum, the highest single-incident death toll since Sudan's war began in April.
Air and artillery strikes in civilian areas have increased as the fight between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) approaches the five-month mark, with neither side declaring victory or peace prevailing.
A witness reported the incident anonymously to Reuters, citing a series of drone and airstrikes on southern Khartoum.
Images released by the Southern Khartoum Emergency Room (SKER), a group of local volunteers, showed several women and men injured and what seemed to be bodies shrouded in fabric.
Residents of the region are mostly day laborers who are too poor to pay the expense of escape from the metropolis.
The injured had to be transferred on rickshaws and donkey carts, said Mohamed Abdallah, a representative for the SKER, which strives to offer medical and other assistance.
The RSF accused the Sudanese army of carrying out the attack and earlier strikes in a statement. Sudan's army denied culpability, blaming the RSF. Brig. Gen Nabil Abdallah told Reuters, "We only aim our attacks at the enemy’s groupings and stations in different areas."
The RSF has spread over Khartoum and neighboring Bahri and Omdurman, but the army has employed heavy artillery and airstrikes to push it back.
Last week, strikes in western Omdurman killed at least 51 people over two days. Volunteers struggle to register the exact number of persons dead since most hospitals are closed and there is no functioning local administration.
MSF, which runs the Bashair hospital in southern Khartoum, said on X that the packed Gorro market was attacked at 7 AM, injuring at least 60 people. Doctors had stopped counting while operating.
MSF’s emergency coordinator, Marie Burton, said, "Khartoum has been at war for almost six months. But still, the volunteers … are shocked and overwhelmed by the scale of horror that struck the city today."
SKER said in a statement on Friday that the hospital, one of the few remaining in operation, was facing closure because supplies were running low and employees were having difficulty reaching it.
More than half of Sudan's 48 million population now require humanitarian aid and protection, with six million being at risk of famine, as per the United Nations. Despite challenges, such as insecurity and looting, the UN has managed to provide aid to millions in need.
The war has internally displaced around 3.8 million people, with another million crossing borders into neighboring countries. Among the displaced are nearly 2.8 million from Khartoum, accounting for more than half of the capital's pre-war population of around five million.
Despite nearly five months of conflict, there are no signs of the violence subsiding. Witnesses reported on Sunday that the army continued to target RSF positions in northern Khartoum using artillery and rocket fire.
Al-Burhan: Sudan does not need the African Union
Sudanese army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has slammed the African Union as the country's death toll has topped 7,000.
Al-Burhan stated Saturday that "we don't need" the African Union to end the country's almost five-month conflict.
Diplomatic tensions have risen since the African Union Commission's chief, Moussa Faki Mahamat, met with a political advisor to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) last week, sparking a censure from al-Burhan's administration.
According to a Friday study by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data (ACLED) project, the merciless fight between the army and the RSF has killed "nearly 7,500" people since April 15, with the toll being "a conservative estimate."
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), along with various humanitarian organizations, issued an urgent appeal to the global community, urging it to contribute $1 billion in aid. This financial support is aimed at assisting more than 1.8 million individuals who are expected to seek refuge in neighboring countries due to the ongoing clashes.