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Sudan Army, Rebels Clash in North Kordofan

Sudanese rebels have clashed with troops in North Kordofan state ahead of a threatened government closure of an oil pipeline from South Sudan because of allegations that it is backing the rebels.

A spokesman for the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement says the rebel group attacked military positions in the central region on Wednesday.

A military spokesman says the rebels attacked a village and were trying to steal from civilians when they were pushed back by government forces.

JEM is part of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, an alliance that has said its goal is to overthrow President Omar al-Bashir's government.

Mr. Bashir says the rebels have been receiving support from South Sudan, a charge the neighboring government has denied.

In June, Sudan gave oil companies a 60-day deadline to stop transporting oil from South Sudan through a Sudanese pipeline. The deadline is around August 7.

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