KHARTOUM Rebels killed 11 civilians during an attack on a market and a mine in Sudan's Darfur region, state news agency SUNA said on Tuesday, the latest violence in the troubled western region.
Darfur, a vast arid region, has been plagued by violence since rebels took up arms in 2003, complaining the central government had neglected the remote western territory.
While violence is down from its peak in 2003 and 2004, law and order have collapsed in parts of the vast territory and banditry, tribal fighting and clashes between rebels and there said at the time.
Rebel gunmen opened fire on Monday on a market and area used by artisanal miners near Kabkabiya in North Darfur, the area's local governor Adam Salah Adam told SUNA.
"They fired on citizens...and stole their belongings," he said, without identifying the rebels. Six people had been injured, he added.
SUNA did not say what kind of mine had been attacked. In many desert areas of Sudan many ordinary people search with very basic equipment for gold, whose production has been sharply rising in the African country.
North Darfur has been hit by increased violence for more than a month. Gunmen killed the local governor of al-Waha region and looted several camps for displaced people, according to the international peacekeeping force UNAMID.
The International Criminal Court has indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and issued an arrest warrant for Defense Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein to face charges of war crimes in Darfur, charges they deny.
The government signed a Qatar-brokered peace deal with small Darfur rebel groups a year ago but the main rebel groups have refused to join.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Michael Roddy)