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53 Killed in Darfur Tribal Fighting

A clash between rival Arab tribes in Sudan's Darfur region has left at least 53 people dead.

Residents and a tribal leader say heavily armed fighters from the Rizeigat tribe launched an attack on the town of El Sireaf on Saturday.

The French news agency says the attackers, who were armed with machine guns, set dozens of homes on fire.

Tensions between rival Arab groups had heightened in recent months.

In January, the U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur, UNAMID, said intertribal fighting over gold mines in North Darfur had resulted in the displacement of 700,000 people.

In a statement, UNAMID said government figures showed more than 100 people were killed in the unrest.



Fighting between government-backed Arab militias and Sudanese rebels has eased in recent years.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir faces an International Criminal Court indictment for alleged war crimes and genocide in Darfur. He is accused of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder and other crimes against civilians in the region. Sudan rejects the charges.

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