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Tragedy Strikes Khartoum Market as Explosive Attack Claims Dozens of Lives

At least 35 people have been killed after a crowded market in Sudan’s capital was hit with “explosive weapons,” Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has reported.

The charity described the attack as “carnage,” saying that more than 60 people had also been wounded in the attack.

Local residents say a military aircraft bombarded the Qouro market in southern Khartoum on Sunday.

Rival military factions have been fighting since April. This is the 14th air strike AOAV has recorded in Khartoum city since the violence erupted. Overall, AOAV has recorded 21 air strikes in Sudan since April, which have killed and injured 322 civilians, while 51 ground-launched explosive attacks have caused 1,098 civilian casualties.

On Sunday MSF’s emergency co-ordinator Marie Burton said Khartoum “has been at war for almost six months.”

“But still, the volunteers and medical personnel in Bashair hospital are shocked and overwhelmed by the scale of horror that struck the city” on Sunday, she added on X, formerly Twitter.

MSF said “explosive weapons” had hit the market and that air strikes and shelling continued in “another day of unthinkable suffering and loss of life.”

“We’re trying to save the lives of people whose body parts have been ripped off by the explosion. It was a carnage,” MSF added.

Loretta Charles, an MSF medic at the Bashair Teaching Hospital in Khartoum, said she treated people with blast injuries.

“We had traumatic amputations and penetrating trauma to the head, the chest, and the abdomen,” she told the BBC.

Some estimates put the number of those killed in the strike closer to 50.

Sudan plunged into a civil war in April after army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo fell out.

Since then, AOAV has recorded 81 incidents of explosive weapons use in Sudan, and 1,490 civilian casualties (673 killed, 817 injured). 99% (80) of those incidents took place in populated areas, where 99.9% (1,489) of civilian casualties were reported.

The vast majority of incidents, 65% (53), took place in urban residential areas, causing 44% (653) of civilian casualties. 21% (308) of civilian casualties were reported across seven incidents in markets, which remain crowded locations where civilians seek out basic necessities for their continued survival.

About five million people have been forced to flee their homes, and thousands have been killed. Khartoum and the western region of Darfur have been worst hit by the conflict.

The RSF controls much of Khartoum and the adjoining cities of Omdurman and Bahri. The military has repeatedly carried out air strikes in a bid to regain control of the cities.

An air strike killed at least 20 people, including two children, about a week ago, activists said.

The US, Saudi Arabia, and other countries have been trying to mediate an end to the conflict, with no success.

Several ceasefires have been announced to allow people to escape the fighting but these have been broken.

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.