Saudi Announces First Civilian Evacuations From Sudan

A boat carrying Saudi citizens and other nationals rescued from battle-scarred Sudan arrived Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi state television said, in the first announced evacuation of civilians since fighting there began.

“The first evacuation vessel from Sudan has arrived, carrying 50 (Saudi) citizens and a number of nationals from friendly countries,” the official Al-Ekhbariyah television said.

The boat docked at the Red Sea port of Jeddah where four other ships carrying 108 people from 11 different countries was expected to arrive later from Sudan, the broadcaster said.

Al-Ekhbariyah carried footage of large vessels arriving in Jeddah’s port. It also released a video showing women and children carrying Saudi flags on board one of the ships.

Saturday’s evacuations mark the first major civilian rescue since violence in Sudan broke out on April 15.

Hundreds have died due to the battles  between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Heavy gunfire, loud explosions, and fighter jets roared in many parts of the capital Saturday morning, according to witnesses.

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