Flames Engulf Khartoum as Sudan’s Capital Witnesses Second Day of Clashes

Central Khartoum in flames as war rages across Sudan

The Sudanese capital, Khartoum, was engulfed in flames on Sunday as paramilitary forces launched an attack on the army headquarters for the second consecutive day, according to witnesses, marking the continuation of a violent conflict that has persisted for six months.

Reports indicate that clashes involving various types of weaponry were taking place in the vicinity of the army headquarters, with witnesses also hearing “huge bangs” as the regular army targeted bases of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries with artillery. Additionally, fighting was reported in the city of El-Obeid, located approximately 350 kilometers (about 220 miles) to the south of Khartoum.

Nawal Mohammed, a resident of the city, described the battles on both Saturday and Sunday as “the most violent since the war began.” Despite residing at least three kilometers away from the nearest clashes, Mohammed reported that “doors and windows shook” due to the force of the explosions. Several buildings in central Khartoum were set on fire as a result of the fighting.

Social media posts, verified by AFP, featured footage of flames consuming prominent landmarks in the Khartoum skyline, including the ministry of justice and the Greater Nile Petroleum Oil Company Tower—a distinctive conical building with glass facades that had become a symbol of the city. Other posts depicted buildings with blown-out windows and walls charred or riddled with bullet holes, still smoldering from the violence.

Badr al-Din Babiker, a resident of Khartoum’s eastern region, expressed distress at witnessing “these institutions destroyed like this.”

The ongoing war in Sudan, which erupted on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has resulted in a death toll of nearly 7,500 people, as estimated by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. However, civilians and aid workers have raised concerns that the actual toll is much higher, as many casualties do not reach hospitals or morgues for documentation.

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On Sunday, a committee of volunteer pro-democracy lawyers reported that the fighting in Khartoum since Friday had claimed the lives of dozens of civilians in a “continued disregard for international humanitarian law.” The group stated that it was working to ascertain the number of civilian victims affected by “arbitrary shelling.”

The ongoing conflict in Sudan has ravaged already fragile infrastructure, shuttered approximately 80 percent of the country’s hospitals, and pushed millions into severe hunger. Over five million people have been displaced, including 2.8 million who have fled the relentless air strikes, artillery barrages, and street battles in Khartoum’s densely populated neighborhoods. Meanwhile, millions who have either been unable or unwilling to leave Khartoum are enduring water, food, and electricity rationing.

The violence has also spread to the western region of Darfur, where ethnically motivated attacks by the RSF and allied militias have prompted renewed investigations by the International Criminal Court into potential war crimes. Additionally, there have been reports of clashes in the southern Kordofan region, with witnesses on Sunday describing artillery exchanges between the regular army and the RSF in the city of El-Obeid.

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