May 7, 2015 / 9:25 AM / in 3 years

Sudan army says shot down reconnaissance drone, identity unknown

CAIRO (Reuters) - Sudan’s army said on Thursday an object shot down by its anti-aircraft defenses near Khartoum two days ago, the explosions briefly triggering rumors of a coup attempt, was a reconnaissance drone but its origins were not clear.

On Wednesday, the army said Sudan’s anti-aircraft defenses shot at an unidentified object that crossed the sky near Khartoum late on Tuesday. It issued a statement denying rumors of an attack or coup attempt.

Later on Wednesday, army spokesman Col. Sawarmi Khaled Saad said in a statement that an air base had received notification about a bright aerial target flying at low altitude over the Wadi Sidna military zone near Khartoum.

“We engaged with the aerial target, which is a reconnaissance imaging target whose identity has not yet been uncovered,” he added.

The target was destroyed and parts were strewn over the residential areas in Omdurman, part of greater Khartoum.

Residents of Omdurman had told Reuters they had heard at least one explosion around 2200 local time on Tuesday coming from north of the Khartoum metropolitan area.

Sudan faces insurgencies in the western region of Darfur and along its border with South Sudan, though the rebels are not believed to have air capabilities.

It has blamed Israel for attacks in the past, including an air strike in 2012 that caused a huge explosion and fire at an arms factory in Khartoum; but Israel has either refused to comment or said it neither admitted nor denied involvement.

Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and

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