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Sudanese army says clashes near southern border have killed at least 60 rebels

The Sudanese army says clashes in the country's south near the border with South Sudan have killed at least 60 rebels.

The army's spokesman, Col. Sawarme Khalid, says Sudanese troops took control of the strategic Mafo area in the Blue Nile state and were now conducting mop-up operations.

Khalid didn't say how long the fighting lasted. He says Sudanese troops sustained "minor casualties."

He told the official Sudan News Agency on Tuesday that some rebels retreated and crossed the border into South Sudan.

Khartoum has frequently accused South Sudan of supporting the rebels in the south.

The rebel groups were part of South Sudan's army during its 21-year civil war with Khartoum. But since the South's independence, it maintains it has cut off support for the rebels.