Women killed in Khartoum bombing
Victims were preparing breakfast in Sports City
An explosion in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Wednesday, September 27, killed at least seven civilians, including five women, according to geolocated video of the aftermath.
The explosion took place on Africa Street near Sports City, in an area controlled by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Although this area is far from the frontline, the incident fits with a pattern of aerial attacks—including drone strikes—by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on markets, outdoor restaurants, and tea places allegedly frequented by members of the RSF.
For example, SAF bombed a tea place in Kalakla al-Qubba on September 2, and a lunch place in East Nile on September 12. Additionally, there was an attack this week on a busy street in Soba, which we may document later in a separate report.
Images from the scene show scattered cooking-related items, including an egg carton, a bottle for cooking oil, a serving tray, plastic baskets, plastic chairs that are typical of such outdoor establishments, as well as a child’s bicycle.
If there were any RSF soldiers among the victims, they were evacuated prior to the filming of the below video.
The Sports City area where this attack occurred is frequently characterized by pro-SAF media as a “gathering place” of the militia. Before the war, the RSF had established camps in Sports City, and it is where fighting first erupted on April 15 when the war began. This means the place has some political, symbolic significance.
Video of the aftermath of the bombing
The victims in this video are partially blurred. Nevertheless it is very disturbing; viewer discretion advised. A summary follows for those who do not wish to watch it. The video was filmed by a member or supporter of the RSF who blamed SAF for the attack, saying they targeted only civilians, including women and children.
“The airplanes bomb without mercy,” he says.
Description of the victims seen in the video:
00:02-00:05, 0:16-23, 0:36-1:03 — Bodies of three (3) deceased civilians with horrible injuries, including a man, a woman, and another small woman or child. The faces of two victims are covered with cloths, indicating somebody had concluded they were dead. The third person’s face is not visible.
0:06 — Woman with a head wound, dead or seriously injured.
0:28-0:35, 1:50-2:26 — Man in civilian clothing with a serious head injury, possibly deceased, lying nearby to a tipped wheelbarrow; next to him is a mortally wounded woman, and a child’s tricycle. The woman is still moving but her injuries are extremely severe, to the extent that she could not have survived.
1:06-1:08, 1:24-1:33 — A woman wearing pink flip-flops, with an orange basket, partially covered (indicating she is dead).
The attack adds to the terrible toll of civilians killed in apparent aerial attacks. Recently, we tallied the number of victims of airstrikes killed in a two-week period earlier this month, and concluded that the number was at least 150.
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Shelling claims victims in Omdurman
Shelling by the RSF is also reported to have claimed civilian lives in northern Omdurman, specifically in the al-Jarafa area two days ago. According to the Al-Jarafa Resistance Committee (one of the civilian protest groups formed during the 2018-2019 revolution), nine civilians died, including “families and children.”
Dozens were wounded. “Citizen Wahib Muhammad Al-Rabatabi lost his children and his wife. We all extend our condolences to him and to all the families of the victims.”
From a military perspective, the shelling is unlikely to have come from RSF forces in Omdurman itself, unless they used long-range weapons, because they do not control territory very close to al-Jarafa. But the RSF also control the farmlands on the opposite bank of the Nile, in northern Bahri, which is near al-Jarafa.
Emergency Lawyers, a Sudanese nonprofit, issued a statement about the attack, saying, “We condemn this massacre, which is considered a repetition of similar incidents on both sides and reflects pure disregard for the lives of civilians and all international laws and conventions.”
“We have repeatedly warned of the consequences of continuing indiscriminate bombing and non-compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law that prohibit targeting civilians and civilian objects. Taking into account the necessary precautions is a responsibility that falls on the leaders of these forces…”