Monitoring Group: Sudanese Factory Hit by Airstrike

Posted October 30th, 2012 at 9:25 am (UTC-5)
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A U.S.-based monitoring group says satellite images suggest an airstrike caused an explosion at a Sudanese arms factory last week.

The Satellite Sentinel Project released images Tuesday that show six 16-meter-wide craters near the center of the explosion.

The group said the holes are consistent with impact craters created by air-delivered munitions. It said 40 shipping containers had been stacked in the area where the craters were formed.

Sudan has accused Israel of using warplanes to bomb the arms factory in Khartoum in an attempt to derail Sudan's military capabilities.

Israel's military has not commented on the accusations.

Israel believes Sudan is a key transit point for arms smuggled through Egypt to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Iranian state media said two of its warships docked in Sudan on Monday to ensure security for shipping lanes. It said the vessels were also bringing a message of peace and friendship.

Sudan has denied any other country was involved in the arms factory in Khartoum.

Iran and Sudan have close ties.

Sudan has blamed Israel for previous attacks, including a deadly 2009 air strike on a weapons convoy.

The images released by the Satellite Sentinel Project are not definitive evidence the factory was bombed and provide no clues about who may have been responsible. The group was founded with support from U.S. actor George Clooney and has used satellite images to monitor destruction of villages by Sudanese troops.