Darfur rebel leader Ibrahim killed
The leader of the main Darfur rebel group has been killed, the Sudanese army said.
Khalil Ibrahim was killed during fighting west of capital Khartoum early on Sunday. The army said his death was a key victory over the rebels who rejected a peace deal with the government.
The army said Ibrahim and several of his associates died during a military offensive in the North Kordofan state that was in retaliation for a rebel attack there on Saturday, which authorities said killed an undisclosed number of civilians.
Ibrahim led the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, which unlike other Darfur rebel groups did not join last year's peace deal signed with the Khartoum government.
An army statement said Ibrahim died in Wad Banda, an area in North Kordufan about 440 miles west of Khartoum.
Fighting in the area has flared up in recent days. On Saturday, the Sudanese army said the rebels from Darfur attacked three locations in neighbouring North Kordufan.
The military said it responded to the rebel attacks, killing Ibrahim with a group of associates as they where retreating, allegedly toward South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in July and became the world's youngest country.
Ibrahim was believed to have been living in exile in Libya, where he enjoyed the support of dictator Muammar Gaddafi until his death at the hands of the country's revolutionaries in October. After that, he reportedly returned to Sudan.
Sudanese army spokesman Colonel Khalid al-Sawarmy Saad said: "The army cut all paths for the group as it was retreating and trying to cross into South Sudan to reorganise it forces.
"Our gallant armed forces were able to kill rebel Khalil Ibrahim, along with some of his associates."