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Pro-Khartoum militias loot Darfur town, kill one

KHARTOUM, April 6 (Reuters) - Pro-Khartoum "Janjaweed" militias ran riot in Darfur's main town of el-Fasher on Sunday, killing one person, injuring four others and looting shops in the market, former Darfur rebels said.

"The militias which belong to the government known as the Janjaweed did not get their money from the government and they looted the market where the (army) and the police could not control them," said Mohammed Dirbeen, military spokesman of the Sudan Liberation Movement's (SLM) Minnawi faction.

SLM-Minnawi, named after its leader Minni Arcua Minnawi, was the only one of three rebel factions to sign a 2006 Darfur peace deal and join Khartoum's government. But little of the deal has been implemented, causing distrust between the parties.

"They killed one citizen and injured four," Dirbeen said, adding the militiamen tried but failed to loot local banks. He was speaking from Khartoum after being briefed by colleagues in el-Fasher.

Government officials in North Darfur were not immediately available to comment, but witnesses told Reuters from el-Fasher they had heard heavy gunfire in the market and seen shops that had been looted.

The joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur was also not immediately available to comment.

The Janjaweed are accused of war crimes including systematic rape and killings -- violence Washington calls genocide. Khartoum says the Janjaweed are criminals and denies any links to them. It rejects accusations of genocide.

Khartoum does say it has trained tribal militias it calls the Popular Defence Forces. The PDF troops were incorporated into official forces but the government has struggled to keep them under control.

The PDF troops were recruited mainly from Arab tribes who wanted to protect their rights against the mostly non-Arab rebels who took up arms in early 2003 accusing Khartoum of neglect. (Reporting by Opheera McDoom; Editing by Caroline Drees)

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