Mon Jan 4, 2016 4:35PM
A South Sudanese soldier is pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015. ©AFP
A South Sudanese soldier is pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015. ©AFP

Sudan’s army says anti-government rebels have attacked an army garrison in the volatile state of South Kordofan, with both sides giving conflicting accounts of the incident.

Military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said Monday that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) launched the attack on the Mazlagan garrison on Saturday, but “they were repulsed and driven off.”

Shami said more than 13 of the SPLM-N forces were killed and an unknown number injured whereas the army suffered no casualties.

However, in a statement late Sunday, SPLM-N’s spokesman Arnu Lodi said their forces killed 30 government forces, “destroyed five four-wheel-drive vehicles and burned the garrison building before withdrawing.”

Lodi put the death toll among the SPLM-N forces at only four.

The attack came days after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced a month-long extension to September’s ceasefire in the country’s conflict-hit border regions.

The SPLM-N has been fighting against the Sudanese government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state since 2011, saying the states were being politically and economically marginalized.

Khartoum accuses neighboring South Sudan, which seceded from the Republic of Sudan in 2011, of supporting the anti-government rebels.