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Alleged Darfur Rebels on Trial in Khartoum

An alleged top member of the Darfur rebel group that attacked Sudan's capital in May has appeared in court.

Abdul Aziz Ashur and at least seven other defendants were in court in Khartoum Thursday facing charges for their role in the attack. Ashur is said to be a relative of the leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement - Khalil Ibrahim.

JEM launched the attack on Khartoum and its suburb, Omdurman, May 10 after crossing hundreds of kilometers of desert. It was the closest rebels from the western Darfur region have come to the capital. At least 200 people died in the violence.

Sudan began proceedings last month against 39 other suspected Darfur rebels on terrorism charges.

Human Rights Watch last month urged Sudan's government to release or charge the hundreds of Darfuris who have been arrested since last month's attack. The New York-based group said prisoners have complained of mistreatment and torture.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.