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Sudan Mounts Air Strikes to 'Control Oilfields'

Sudan's army has launched repeated air strikes on the southern army in Unity state in a bid to seize oilfields there weeks before the south's independence, a southern army spokesman said Friday.

Philip Aguer, spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) of the south, said the SPLA was on "maximum alert" and strengthening its defensive positions, fearing the start of an invasion to seize the oilfields.

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U.S. Calls for Sudan Clashes to 'Cease Immediately'

The United States called Tuesday for clashes in Sudan to "cease immediately," expressing concern over reports of several fatalities in the fighting between the northern and southern armies.

Washington is "deeply troubled" by United Nations reports that six people have been killed in the fighting in Kadugli, capital of volatile South Kordofan state, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

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U.S. Calls for Sudan Leaders to Meet on Abyei

The United States called Wednesday on Sudan's northern and southern leaders to meet immediately to defuse a crisis over the disputed Abyei border region and help save a 2005 peace agreement.

Johnnie Carson, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, renewed U.S. condemnation of the May 21 seizure of Abyei by troops serving the northern-based government of President Omar al-Bashir and repeated American calls for them to withdraw.

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Sudan's Abyei Ablaze after Capture by Khartoum Forces

Sudan’s flashpoint town of Abyei was ablaze on Monday with gunmen looting properties after its capture by northern troops, the United Nations said, as Washington demanded Khartoum pull out its forces.

The U.N. Mission in Sudan, or UNMIS, warned Khartoum it was responsible for law and order amid reports thousands of civilians were fleeing southwards after northern Sudan Armed Forces troops and tanks overran the border town Saturday.

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North, South Sudan Agree Abyei Troop Withdrawal

North and south Sudan have agreed to start withdrawing unauthorized troops from the flashpoint Abyei border region, the United Nations said, a week after clashes there left 14 people dead.

The two sides agreed that the pullout would begin from Tuesday and be completed within a week, the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said in a statement late on Sunday.

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55 Killed in Armed Clashes in South Sudan

Clashes between south Sudan's army and rebel militiamen killed at least 55 people, a government official said Sunday in the soon to be independent state gripped by a bloody wave of unrest.

The fighting raged for about three hours on Saturday in Jonglei state between the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and gunmen led by former militia leader Gabriel Tang, also known as Tang-Ginye.

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Haaretz: Mideast Turmoil Boosts Iran's Regional Arms Smuggling

Iran has smuggled more weapons to Hizbullah, Syria, and Palestinian groups in recent months, taking advantage of the wave of unrest in the Middle East, reported the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Friday.

Because international attention is focused mainly on regime changes and local intelligence services are busy protecting their rulers, the Iranians have been able to act with greater impunity, it said

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Sudan Accuses Israel of Fatal Airstrike on Car

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmad Karti accused Israel on Wednesday of carrying out an airstrike a day earlier on a car on Sudan's Red Sea coast that killed two people.

Karti's charge came as a number of Israeli newspapers spoke of the same thing, but the Israeli military and foreign ministry both declined to comment.

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Khartoum Demo Blocked by Heavy Security

Hundreds of baton-wielding riot police barred Sudanese opposition activists from demonstrating on Wednesday, arresting dozens and beating up others, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported.

Some 500 riot police were deployed in Abu Janzeer square, in the center of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, after an alliance of opposition parties announced plans to hold a demonstration there at 1:00 pm (1000 GMT).

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Bashir Meets in Cairo with Egypt Military Rulers

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Egypt's new military rulers on Tuesday, the official MENA agency reported, marking the first visit to post-Mubarak Egypt by an Arab head of state.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, met with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads the country's ruling military council.

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