Sudan: Israel accused of carrying out an attack on Port Sudan

Sudan mapBy Nangayi Guyson – Khartoum –  The Sudanese government has accused Israel of carrying out an attack on Tuesday near Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast which killed  two people.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti on Wednesday told reporters that, “This is absolutely an Israeli attack and Khartoum reserve  the right to react to the aggression”.

He said Israel undertook the attack in order to scupper Sudan’s chances of being removed from a US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

One of the two people killed in the strike was a Sudanese citizen who had no ties to Islamists or the government, he said.

In 2009 the Sudanese authorities said a convoy of arms smugglers was hit by unidentified aircraft in Sudan’s eastern Red Sea state.

There was speculation at the time that the strike may have been carried out by Israel to stop weapons bound for Gaza.

The then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, appeared to give credence to an Israeli hand in that attack, saying “we operate everywhere where we can hit terror infrastructure – in close places and in places further away,” but this time Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor declined to comment on the accusation.

Sudanese officials have offered different versions on how the strike was carried out. Police say a missile struck the car near the port city, but a state government official blamed a bombing by a foreign aircraft that flew in from the Red Sea.

Sudan is on a US list of state sponsors of terrorism, but Washington this year initiated the process to remove it from that list after a peaceful January referendum in which the country’s south voted to secede.