5 intel officers killed in shootout with militants in Sudan

In this photo taken from video, Abdalla Adam Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Sudan, remotely addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message, Saturday Sept. 25, 2021 at UN headquarters. (UN Web TV via AP)
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CAIRO (AP) — Five intelligence officers were killed in a shootout Tuesday with suspected Islamic State group militants in Sudan's capital Khartoum, authorities said.

The General Intelligence Agency said in a statement the suspected militants opened fire on forces who raided their hideout in the Gabra neighborhood in southern Khartoum. It said five were killed and an officer was also wounded in the raid.

The GIA said forces arrested 11 suspected militants and were chasing four others who managed to flee during the shootout. The statement said the suspects were foreigners but did not reveal their nationalities or further details.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok mourned the deaths of the five officers.

Tuesday’s violence came a week after authorities said they foiled a coup attempt that has since increased tensions between the generals and civilians in the transitional government.

The developments underscore the fragility of Sudan’s path to democracy, more than two years after the military’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir amid a public uprising against his three-decade rule.

Militant attacks were rare in Sudan, a country that hosted Osama bin Laden in the early years of his jihadi movement that led to the creation of al-Qaida. The East African nation was on the U.S. list of countries backing terrorism until December.

In March last year, Hamdok said he survived a “terror attack” after an explosion and gunfire targeted his motorcade in Khartoum.

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