Five Sudanese counterterrorism officers were killed Tuesday during a raid in Khartoum targeting “a cell linked to the Islamic State group”, the country’s intelligence services said in a statement.
“After receiving information on the presence of a terrorist cell linked to IS, intelligence officers conducted a search,” it said.
During the operation, “two officers and three non-commissioned officers” were killed, while “four foreign terrorists managed to escape”.
“Eleven terrorists from different foreign countries have been arrested,” the statement added.
A two-story house in the capital’s Jabra neighborhood was surrounded by a cordon of security forces, who asked crowds to move away in case explosives were left behind, an AFP reporter said.
Neighbors told AFP they heard an exchange of gunfire and saw the wounded being transported away in cars.
In 2019 the US Department of State warned of the risk of IS in Sudan.
“Despite the absence of high-profile terrorist attacks, ISIS facilitation networks appear to be active within Sudan,” it said, using another name for the group in its 2019 country report on terrorism.
Sudanese officials had “acknowledged that there were ‘extremists’ linked to ISIS in the country”, the report added.
To the north of Sudan lies Egypt, which for years has been battling an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula led mainly by the local branch of the Islamic State group.
Another group of extremist fighters is active in Yemen, across the Red Sea from Sudan.
The clash comes after Sudan’s government said last week it thwarted a coup attempt involving military officers and civilians linked to the regime of ousted strongman Omar al-Bashir.
source: The Citizen