The Sudanese army says at least 45 rebels have been killed in Sudan's North Darfur after they attacked the military.

Army spokesman Sawarme Khalid Saad's remarks, carried on state radio Sunday, said a number of troops were also killed in the clashes. He did not say how many.

Saad says the clashes began when rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement attacked Fataha, a village in North Darfur. He says the rebels first looted the market and killed an unspecified number of villagers.

The Darfur-based JEM rebel group wants to topple Sudan's government. The rebels took advantage of fighting last month between Sudan and South Sudan to fight the Khartoum regime.

The U.N. estimates 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have been displaced in years of fighting in Darfur.