Rescue workers near bombed car
Ambiguity still surrounds 'foreign; aircraft strikes near Port Sudan airport. Israel said to be behind 2009 Sudan bombing on arms smugglers; IDF declines to comment on latest attack
A mystery still engulfs the airstrike which took place near the airport in Sudan's main port city of Port Sudan on Tuesday, as the Sudanese media released first images of the strike's scene
According to a state government official, an unidentified plane bombed a car driving in the vicinity of the airport, killing two people. The aircraft flew in from the Red Sea but it was not clear to whom it belonged, Ahmed Tahir, the speaker of parliament in the Red Sea state where the port city is located, told Reuters.
The plane involved in the strike was "foreign", the Sudan media center said later. The report, quoting a member of parliament, said the car was on the road leading to the Port Sudan airport when it was attacked by the plane, which was following it.
The media center said the Sudanese military directed anti-aircraft fire at the plane and chased it out of Sudanese air space, adding it "confirmed it was a foreign plane." The report did not say where the plane came from or where it went and did not identify the two dead people, who were in the car when it was hit.
"We heard three loud explosions," a source at Port Sudan airport told Reuters. "We went outside to see what was happening and eye witnesses told us they saw two helicopters which looked liked Apaches flying past."
Separately, a witness at the scene of the incident told Reuters he could see two burnt bodies - one inside a car and the other lying on the ground outside the vehicle.
The Sudanese Media Centre, a news agency linked to Sudan's state security apparatus, said cars were struck in a bombing by an unknown plane but gave no further details.
Security forces at the scene were preventing people from getting close to the site, a witness told Reuters from the site of the attack about 20 km outside Port Sudan city.
In January 2009, a convoy of arms smugglers was hit by unidentified aircraft in Sudan's eastern Red Sea state according to Sudanese authorities, a strike that some reports said may have been carried out by Israel to stop weapons bound for Gaza.
A total of 119 people were killed in that strike near Sudan's border with Egypt, according to state media.
Sudan is a known as a smuggling route exploited by terror groups. Last month, Egyptian security forces claimed that they seized five vehicles transporting weapons to the Gaza Strip. It was reported the weapons were seized along the Sudan-Egypt border and included mortar bombs, grenades, rifles and explosives.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office declined to comment on Tuesday's attack.