Sudan army clashes with JEM, hundreds dead

July 17, 2010 (Khartoum) — Sudanese army said it has clashed with rebel fighters of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in north Darfur killing 300 rebel fighters.

The army also admitted it has lost at least 75 of its members in the fight.

“The army killed at least 300 members of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, captured another 86 and destroyed dozens of their vehicles, General Al-Tayeb al-Musbah Osman, was quoted by AP as saying.

But JEM denied the charge and call the army statement “cheap propaganda”.

"They want to divert attention from their defeat," JEM spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam told Reuters, adding his movement had taken government prisoners in the clashes.

The joint AU/UN peacekeeping force in Darfur said the army has clashed with Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) fighters near the Adola Mountains and near Kuma in the north Darfur on Tuesday.

On Monday, the African Union/United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said that at least 221 people have died in fighting and other violence-related incidents in Darfur in June.

The announcement came the same day the Sudanese president was indicted by International Criminal Court (ICC) with three counts of genocide.

Darfur conflict started in 2003 when JEM and SLM/A jointed forces and rebelled against the central government, accusing it of oppressing black Africans.

An estimated 300,000 people may have died, according to United Nations (UN).

But Khartoum rejected the number saying deaths in Darfur are only a tiny fraction of that of the UN estimate.

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