Sudan rebels say hit area where peacekeeper killed

KHARTOUM Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:03am EDT

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KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese rebels said they attacked a city where a United Nations peacekeeper was killed on Friday but that they hit only government military targets in the oil-rich area.

The Sudanese government blamed the attack on the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), an umbrella group of insurgent forces that aims to topple President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), part of the SRF, said on Friday its rebels had hit targets in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan state, including a military base in the airport. It did not mention the U.N. base where the Ethiopian peacekeeper was killed by shelling on Friday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack and urged the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N to suspend hostilities and resume ceasefire negotiations to end the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

The United Nations said earlier this month that more than 60,000 people had fled another town in the state after an attack by insurgents in April.

The SRF is made up of three rebel groups from Darfur and the SPLM-N, fighting along the border with South Sudan.

The violence has strained relations with South Sudan, which Sudan accuses of backing the rebels. Juba denies this.

The SPLM-N said it would continue "its march" to Kadugli until its "complete liberation". "All citizens should stay away from military sites because they are targeted," it said.

The U.N. base in Kadugli is used to support the U.N. peacekeeping force deployed in the Abyei region, which is disputed by Sudan and South Sudan.

(Writing by Tom Perry; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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