By Nimi Princewill | CNN
Sudan’s warring factions have traded blame over a massive blaze that engulfed landmark towers in the capital Khartoum, amid fierce fighting in the conflict between the country’s armed forces and a paramilitary group.
Black smoke billowed from the 18-story Greater Nile Petroleum Oil Company tower on Sunday as fire ripped through the glass facade skyscraper.
Other towers – housing the country’s justice ministry, its tax authority and the Standards and Metrology Organization – also went up in flames, images and videos posted on X, formerly Twitter, by local media showed.
It’s not immediately known what caused the fires or if any lives were lost.
In a statement on Monday, the foreign ministry, which controlled by the Sudanese military, accused the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of “targeting a number of major and important economic institutions and commercial buildings in the country” over the past two days.
The RSF earlier blamed the Sudanese Armed Forces for carrying out “targeted attacks in Khartoum,” which it claimed “have impacted critical facilities” including the destroyed landmark buildings.
Aerial bombings have intensified since fighting broke out in mid-April between the Sudanese army and the RSF. Some of those airstrikes have struck populated areas, resulting in multiple civilian casualties.
At least 43 people were killed a week ago after a market in southern Khartoum was hit by an airstrike, a Sudanese doctors’ union said.
Another 32 civilians were killed days before in a similar strike in Omdurman, also in Khartoum.
Fighting between Sudan’s military and the RSF has left at least 5,000 people dead and over 12,000 inured, according to UN figures. Peace agreements brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia have failed to end the conflict.
More than 4 million people have fled the violence across Sudan, with more than half having fled the capital alone, according to the International Organization for Migration.