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Sudan Accuses South Over Rebel Attack in Oil-Rich State

Sudan’s army accused South Sudan of supporting a rebel attack on a town in the oil-rich border state of Southern Kordofan and amassing troops.

Clashes between Sudanese insurgents and government soldiers erupted on March 29 for control of Taludi, close to the border with newly independent South Sudan. The new country is supporting rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army with tanks and artillery, Sudan’s army said in a statement published yesterday on the state-run SUNA news agency. Government forces drove off the insurgents, according to the statement.

South Sudan said its troops pursued the Sudan Armed Forces into the Heglig area and accused them of bombing its forces along the border between Southern Kordofan and the south’s Unity state. That fighting stopped on March 28, both sides said. Rebels from SPLA and the Justice and Equality movement, the main rebel group in the Darfur region, are now regrouping and amassing forces at the border south of Heglig, aiming to attack the Heglig area again, according to the army’s statement.

Fighting between Sudanese government forces and the rebels has intensified in the states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan since South Sudan seceded on July 9, assuming control of three-quarters of the former unified nation’s crude oil production of 490,000 barrels a day.

Clashes between the armies of the former civil-war foes along the border prompted expressions of alarm from the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. and the African Union.

China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. pump most of the oil in the two countries.

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