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US diplomatic convoy fired on in Sudan, prompting warning from Blinken


2023-04-18T05:27:13Z

A U.S. diplomatic convoy came under fire on Monday in Sudan in an apparent attack by fighters associated with Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday, in an incident he described as “reckless” and “irresponsible”.

The incident prompted a direct warning from Blinken, who separately telephoned RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, and Sudan’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to tell them that any danger posed to American diplomats was unacceptable.

“We have deep concerns about the overall security environment,” Blinken said at a press conference in Japan where he attended a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers.

Fighting in Sudan has killed at least 185 people and injured more than 1,800 others as both sides claimed gains in a conflict that has seen the use of air strikes and artillery.

Clashes have continued despite numerous calls from the United States and other countries for a halt to fighting as well as efforts by Egypt and the United Emirates to get the rivals to agree to a ceasefire.

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Smoke rises over buildings during clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum, Sudan April 17, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference at the conclusion of a G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at The Prince Karuizawa hotel in Karuizawa, Japan, Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS