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At least 39 dead in fighting in Darfur region – Sudan opposition

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At least 39 dead in fighting in Darfur region – Sudan opposition

 

At least 39 people, including women and children, have been killed in violent clashes in Sudan’s western Darfur region, according to opposition reports.

Many of the victims had sought refuge under a bridge in the town of Njala and were killed in an airstrike “in one fell swoop,” the opposition Nasserist Social Justice Movement said on X on Tuesday.

The army and the paramilitary militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been engaged in heavy fighting for more than four months.

The U.S. State Department expressed “deep concern” about the situation in Njala.

Tens of thousands of civilians are trapped in the town due to violence between the army and RSF, the department said in a statement.

On Monday, de facto president and army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had again ruled out negotiations with the opposing paramilitaries.

An armed conflict erupted in Sudan in mid-April between the army and the rival paramilitary RSF militia.

Former Sudanese vice president Mohammed Hamdan Daglo’s RSF – made up of tens of thousands of fighters that emerged from Arab militias in Darfur – is fighting the armed forces led by the de facto president, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The two generals originally seized power together in 2021 and are now fighting each other.

Neither side has been able to gain the upper hand so far.

Relief agencies warn that the country is heading for a humanitarian catastrophe, and millions of people have fled.

Along with the capital Khartoum, Darfur is particularly hard hit by the clashes.

The region has been the scene of fighting between various ethnic groups and militias and the Sudanese government for decades.

 

According to experts, Njala is also home to fighters from former rebel groups who previously fought as mercenaries in neighbouring Libya.

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3 teens arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting terror attack

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German authorities have arrested three teenagers aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of plotting a deadly Islamist terrorist attack in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prosecutors said on Friday.

The state’s Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism (ZenTer NRW) sought an arrest warrant for the teenagers over the Easter holiday.

They were suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in accordance with the aims and ideology of (extremist militia organisation) Islamic State.

The detained suspects are a 15-year-old girl from Dusseldorf, a 16-year-old girl from the Märkischer Kreis district and a 15-year-old boy from the Soest district, located about 100 kilometres to the east of Dusseldorf.

A fourth suspect has reportedly been identified in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, and the local court there has issued an arrest warrant.

According to the investigators, the teenagers are accused of having agreed to commit murder and manslaughter.

This is in conjunction with the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state.

 

The presumption of innocence applied in all stages of the proceedings.

Security sources told newsmen that the young people had formed a chat group, but had not drawn up a concrete attack plan for a particular time and place.

However, sources said the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as targets, and attacks with knives and Molotov cocktails on people in churches or police officers in police stations had been considered.

The sources said authorities had also conducted searches as part of the investigation.

A machete and a dagger were seized in Dusseldorf, but no evidence of the construction of incendiary devices was discovered.

Sources said the father of the Dusseldorf suspect had already attracted attention from authorities in the past because he had allegedly collected donations for the Islamic State.

The investigators declined to reveal how the suspected terrorists were tracked down, but said that foreign intelligence agencies “did not play a role.”

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Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election

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Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

 

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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