One Sudanese soldier killed in clash with South Sudan

KHARTOUM Mon Aug 5, 2013 7:07pm EDT

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KHARTOUM (Reuters) - One Sudanese soldier was killed on Monday in a clash with troops from South Sudan after a patrol from the south crossed the border, a Sudanese military spokesman said.

The spokesman, al-Sawarmi Khalid, said in a statement the clash took place after a South Sudanese patrol crossed the border and opened fire.

The clash took place at Sudan's main oilfield in the border area of Heglig, north of Sudan and which although is under the authority of Sudan is also disputed with South Sudan.

Sudan, the sole conduit for South Sudan's oil exports, had threatened to shut down its pipelines by the end of July unless the Juba government gave up its support for rebels operating across their border.

South Sudan denies the accusations and the Khartoum government has postponed the shutdown to allow the African Union to investigate its complaints.

A Sudanese official said on July 31 he was hopeful his country might not be forced to block South Sudan's vital crude exports citing what said there were "good steps" made to end a row over alleged rebel support. Both states accuse one another of supporting rebels.

Apart from oil, the two neighbors have yet to decide on the ownership of the rich oil state of Abyei and other disputed territories along their shared border.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Editing by Michael Georgy, Eric Beech and Jackie Frank)

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