Israel official: We struck in Sudan
Official quoted by TIME Magazine confirms strike, says ‘it’s not our first time there.’ Al-Jazeera says Palestinian, Iranian killed in Tuesday’s bombing, later changes its report. Sudanese FM: We’ll complain to UN
Elior Levy, Ynet, April 6, 2011
A senior Israeli military official told TIME Magazine Wednesday that the Jewish state was behind a mysterious air strike in Sudan Tuesday that killed two people.
“It’s not our first time there,” the official was quoted as saying, apparently referring to the 2009 airstrike that demolished an arms convoy near the border with Egypt.
The Al-Arabiya news channel reported on Wednesday that one of the two men killed in the airstrike on Sudan, which some claim was carried out by Israel, was an Arab national who was responsible for arming Hamas.
The network later changed the report to say that police sources confirmed that both men were Sudanese arms dealers.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese government said it would file a complaint against Israel with the United Nations Security Council over the strike.
Al-Jazeera also filed its share of conflicted reports on the incident. The Qatari news network first cited an anonymous security source saying that one of the men who were killed was Palestinian, while the other was Iranian. Later, an Al-Jazeera reporter in Sudan said that both of the victims were Sudanese, and that one of them was a notorious arms dealer.
‘Proof that Israel behind attack’
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti accused Israel of carrying out the strike. He said in a press conference in Khartoum that his government “has proof Israel carried this attack. We are absolutely certain of it, but we don’t know the reason.”
Karti also claimed that Israel is attempting to harm Sudan’s chances of being removed from the United States’ list of terror-sponsoring nations.
According to Sudanese reports, a foreign aircraft entered the African nation’s airspace around 10 pm on Tuesday from the Red Sea. Sudanese forces reportedly fired at the aircraft, chasing it away. Eyewitnesses said they heard loud explosions and saw two helicopters flying by.
In January 2009, a convoy of arms smugglers was hit by unidentified aircraft in Sudan’s eastern Red Sea state, a strike that some reports said may have been carried out by Israel to stop weapons bound for Gaza.
Roi Kais and Reuters contributed to this report