Seven killed in chopper crash in Darfur as rebels claim shot it down
July 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson announced the death of seven military when their helicopter crashed in Darfur for technical failure, but a rebel group claimed they shot it down.
Al-Sawarmi Khalid released a statement on Monday saying that a military Mi-17 helicopter crashed in Khazan Tunjur area, North Darfur state. He added that seven of the nine military passengers were killed.
“Three officers and four soldiers” were killed in the accident, he said.
The military official explained that the plane was on an “administrative mission” without further details .
However the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement – Minnin Minnawi (SLM-MM) claimed to have shot down the chopper on Monday morning.
Adam Saleh Abakr, SLM-MM military spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Sudan Tribune that their troops based in eastern Jebel Marra downed the helicopter as it was bombarding Kosoni village.
The rebel groups accuse the army of bombing regularly villages located in the remote areas of Darfur region, stressing that the government continues to kill innocent civilians sporadically.
The government on the other hand accuses the rebels of attacking civilians and looting markets in Darfur villages, in order to obstruct its efforts for peace and the return of displaced persons.