El Fasher — Armoured military vehicles, troops, and police are patrolling the streets of the El Fasher tonight following violent clashes that erupted between combined government forces and militiamen from an unnamed armed group at Al Borsa exchange market today.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the clash began at 12.30 pm, with both sides using heavy weapons, such as Dushka machineguns. At least one Sudanese army Lieutenant has been killed, and four soldiers injured, however exact casualty figures are still unclear.
All roads around Al Borsa are closed. The gunfire caused panic in the market and surrounding neighbourhood, and disrupted the final exams at a nearby school.
A woman teacher at the basic school near to Al Borsa market said that in the chaos created by the clash, parents began arriving at the school to collect their children. She said that the children were half way through an examination, but she had to collect the papers and let them go home.
The Governor of North Darfur, Abdelwahid Yousif, told Radio Dabanga that the current series of events began on Monday when a militiaman attempted a robbery Al Borsa market, and was killed. On Tuesday, more militiamen returned and beat-up the policemen in charge of security in the market.
Earlier today, a force comprising army, police, and security personnel moved into the market to conduct an investigation into suspicious activity. They were fired upon by the militiamen.
Governor Yousif says that the police and army now "have control of the situation".
He confirmed that Sudanese Army Lieutenant Atayip Abdulla Atayip (pictured right) died, and four soldiers were injured.
The incident has spread fear to the main market of El Fasher, where traders are afraid of similar incidents there.
Trader Abubakar Ali Ibrahim trader was killed and Noor Ahmed Haroun injured in Al Mahad neighbourhood in eastern El Fasher yesterday. They had drawn a large amount of cash from El Fasher market branch of the Khartoum Bank. Gunmen opened fire on them, killing Ibrahim, who was Business Director for the concerns of Halima Tibbin, who is also a leader of the National Congress Party.
Radio Dabanga will update this article as soon as new facts become clear.