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Residents call for gravediggers as death toll rises in Sudan internal war

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Residents call for gravediggers as death toll rises in Sudan internal war

Residents of Omdurman, the twin city to Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, have had to live through massive aerial bombardments and heavy fighting over the past three days as the conflict between the army and a paramilitary force intensifies as it approaches its fifth month.

A call went out on social media on Tuesday to see if anyone knew any gravediggers.

News had spread that the bodies were mounting up as the bombs from above, as well as shrapnel and bullets from ground level, were hitting civilians.

It is hard to find individual plots for people as the fighting is blocking access to the main graveyards, so many of those who died were put in a mass grave.

READ ALSO: FGN successfully evacuates 2,518 Nigerians from Sudan crisis

A source at the only functioning hospital in Omdurman said that 33 civilians have been killed since Monday when the conflict seemed to enter a new phase.

Some reports say this is the most intense fighting since the beginning of the war in April.

The army, which is trying to dislodge the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) from parts of Omdurman, was flying over bombers as well as shelling the city from the ground.

They are trying to gain control of a key bridge across the Nile, linking Omdurman and Khartoum North, that the RSF uses.

The sound of gunfire has become everyday background noise in the city, but the constant boom of the explosives, shaking people and buildings, was a new, more frightening noise for many.

During the day, smoke can be seen rising from buildings across the city. At night, the shells overhead light up the skies like malevolent shooting stars.

A heavy artillery attack on west Omdurman on Tuesday night killed two civilians and injured several others. It also led to a fresh wave of evacuations with a large number of civilians being seen on mini-buses, some heading to north Omdurman, where it is a bit safer, and others out of the capital entirely.

Getting out of the country from here is now almost impossible as many of the borders are shut.

“God have mercy on us. Everyone is running away even in the rain and in total darkness [due to power cuts]. My mother too wanted to leave but my brother insisted on waiting for the morning,” said Bakita Hassan, a 44-year-old living in the Ombaneighborhoodhood.

RSF positions in Old Omdurman, about 5km (three miles) from where Hassan liv which es, seem to be the focus of attacks, but clashes between armed men have been going on elsewhere, including close to his home.

The paramilitary force has been using an Ombadah police station as a prison and the army was trying to hit it. But some of the shells went astray and hit civilians instead.

In another incident, an ice cream seller, who is well known in West Omdurman, was hit in the leg by some shrapnel while she was working. Her leg was broken, but she survived.

 

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