World Bulletin/News Desk
Sudan's armed forces and a rebel group clashed outside a major city in the troubled western Darfur region, scene of an almost decade-long insurgency, state news agency SUNA said on Sunday.
Conflict has raged in the remote territory since tribes took up arms against government forces there in 2003, complaining Khartoum had neglected the vast, arid region.
Despite the presence of the world's largest peacekeeping mission, fighting between Sudan's army and rebels has continued, alongside banditry and tribal clashes.
Army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid said army troops clashed with forces of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) faction led by Minni Minnawi, 25 km (15 miles) outside al-Fasher on Saturday, capital of North Darfur, SUNA reported.
The army had attacked the SLA forces which were preparing to shell al-Fasher, SUNA said, adding that the surviving rebels had fled, leaving behind their ammunition.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels.
Quoting a military source, Sudan's biggest newspaper al-Intibaha had earlier reported that rebels had shelled the outskirts of al-Fasher, frightening residents. Sawarmi denied the report.Last Mod: 19 Kasım 2012, 10:53