An arms factory in Khartoum
where there were blasts and a huge fire overnight was attacked by four military planes, a Sudanese minister said on Wednesday, blaming the air strike on Israel.
Sudan, which analysts say is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled
Gaza Strip via neighbouring Egypt,
has blamed Israel for such strikes in the past but Israel has always either refused to comment or said it neither admitted or denied involvement.
No official Israeli source commented on the accusations made Wednesday. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the military "will not comment on the report"; while the Prime Minister's Office refused to comment.
"Four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant ... We believe that Israel is behind it," Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman told reporters, adding that the planes had appeared to approach the site from the east.
"Sudan reserves the right to strike back at Israel," he said, adding two citizens had been killed and that the plant had been partially destroyed.
Around 300 people gathered in the evening at the courtyard of a government building where the Sudanese cabinet was meeting at an emergency session, shouting "Death to Israel" and "Remove Israel from the map."
The weapons' facility (Photos: Reuters)
"Israel is a country of injustice that needs to be deterred," Vice President Ali Osman Taha, standing next to President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, told the crowd. "This attack only strengthens our firmness."
The governor of Khartoum state had initially ruled out any "external" reasons for the blast but officials later showed journalists a video from the site. A huge crater could be seen next to two destroyed buildings and what appeared to be a rocket lying on the ground.
Osman said an analysis of rocket debris and other material on the ground had shown that Israel was behind the attack.
On Wednesday night, Sudan's ambassador to the UN sent a letter to the UN Security Council asking for an official censure of Israel over its alleged attack of the facility.
In May, Sudan's government said one person was killed when a car exploded in the eastern city of Port Sudan.
It said the explosion resembled a blast last year that it had blamed on an Israeli missile strike.
Israel declined to comment on the incident in May, or the 2011 blast, which killed two people. It neither admitted nor denied involvement in a similar incident in eastern Sudan in 2009.
Reuters and AFP contributed to this report
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