Sudan’s Minister of Information has accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in Khartoum overnight on Tuesday, using four aircraft. Strong blasts rocked the military industrial facility in the suburbs of the capital.
The government-affiliated Sudanese Media Centre reported that the Yarmouk ammunition factory was hit in the attack. Soldiers rushed to the scene and closed roads around the complex.
According to the governor of Khartoum, however, “The cause of the fire that broke out in an arms factory in the Sudanese capital is not known yet.” Abdelrahman Al Khidr said that nothing suggests external causes. “The explosion is likely to have occurred in the storage hall at the large ammunition compound,” he told Sudanese TV.
The Suna news agency claims that the only casualties are some people who are being treated for the effects of smoke inhalation. Eyewitnesses said that the explosion was strong enough to cause some roofs in the area to collapse.
When one person was killed by a car bomb in the eastern coastal city of Port Sudan in May, the Sudanese government said that the blast was similar to another last year, which it blamed on an Israeli missile attack.
Although Israel refrained from commenting on the May incident and the similar event in 2011 in which two people were killed, it’s notable that Israel accuses Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, of using Sudan for smuggling arms to its fighters in the Gaza Strip.
The Sudanese authorities said that an arms convoy was destroyed by an unidentified aircraft in 2009 on Sudanese territory near the Red Sea. It was suspected then that Israel had carried out the attack to prevent arms from reaching Gaza. The then Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, hinted that his country was behind the attack: “We move anywhere to strike the infrastructure of terrorists, in both far and nearby sites,” he boasted.