Sudan army says it repulsed Darfur rebel attack on southern town and killed deputy leader

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Sudan's army says it has repulsed an attack by Darfur rebels on a strategic town near the border with South Sudan and killed the group's deputy leader.

Darfur's Justice and Equality rebel group confirmed Sunday on its website that the group's deputy leader Fidail Rahooma was killed in clashes with government forces in Abu Zabad town in the Kordofan region, which falls along the borders of South Sudan and Sudan's troubled Darfur region. Clashes hit Abu Zabad in recent days, and rebels claimed they had taken it under control.

On Sunday, Sudan's army spokesman Col. Sawarmy Khaled said his forces have inflicted heavy losses on the rebels and chased them out of the area. Sudan's government vowed to crush rebels in Darfur and its borders with South Sudan.