A mysterious explosion leveled an ammunition factory in Sudan last night, but the Sudanese government is now claiming the building was bombed by Israeli warplanes. The Sudanese information minister told a news conference that four military planes came out of the east to strike the factory in Khartoum. "We think Israel did the bombing," said Ahmed Bilal Osman. The military sealed off all roads to the plant, keeping journalists and others at bay as the fire was brought under control. There were no reported casualties.
This isn't the first time that Israel has been accused of such attacks. In January 2009, a truck convoy was destroyed in the Sudanese desert and there were two similar attacks in December of last year, though details of how and where they happened were conflicted. In all the instances, the vehicles that were hit were allegedly smuggling explosives to Hamas fighters in Gaza, courtesy of Iran. Israel would not confirm or deny their involvement.
The timing of this attack is interesting, as Israel is currently involved in a battle with Hamas. Their forces have spent the last two days exchanging rocket fire with Gaza. Dozens of rockets and mortar shells began falling into southern Israel on Tuesday injuring as many as six people, and the Israel Defense Forces responded with tank shells and fighter planes on Wednesday, killing four people. The escalation may have been sparked by the recent visit to Gaza by the Emir of Qatar, who expressed support for the Hamas leadership before leaving on Tuesday—although he had expressly encouraged them to avoid more confrontations with Israel.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.