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Friday, August 21, 1998 Published at 03:06 GMT 04:06 UK

World: Africa

Sudan broadcasts air strike aftermath

Casualties: Sudannese television films survivors

The injured: Sudanese television reports on the wounded
Sudan's president Umar Bashir has described the US air strike on his country as an act of "aggression of the forces of tyranny and oppression".

Speaking on national radio after US cruise missiles were fired at what President Bill Clinton described as a chemical weapons plant, Mr Bashir attacked the American administration.

[ image: Wreckage: Chemical factory destroyed]
Wreckage: Chemical factory destroyed
The country's ambassador to the United Nations has also suggested that they may lodge a complaint with the international body.

While Sudanese television broadcast pictures of the devastation caused by the air strike, ordered by President Clinton, military officials said they believed that five US aircraft had led the attack.

Khartoum: Sudanese television shows the damage
Lt-Gen Abd al-Rahman Sir al-Khatm, the Sudanese deputy chief-of-staff, told national television: "Five planes took part in this operation after jamming our units' electronic warning and radar equipment.

"The armed forces' radar stations reported that these planes crossed the Berber region at 1855 (1655 GMT) at low altitudes parallel to the Nile in the direction of Khartoum.

Abdul Shiddo: "We appeal to the international community"
"Information from the armed forces' radar station in the region also confirmed that the hostile planes withdrew at 1945 (1745 GMT) on the evening of the same day after completing their mission."

He said that the attack totally destroyed the plant. But he added: "The armed forces have taken the necessary measures to confront any similar hostile acts.

"They are ready to confront any development of the situation."

US 'claims absurd'

Abdul Shiddo, the deputy head of the Sudanese Assembly, said that all the country could do was appeal to the international community.

[ image: Fires: Targets burning into the night]
Fires: Targets burning into the night
"The attack was really shocking," he said.

"I could not believe what I heard, it does not fit any international standard (of behaviour).

"We were actually doubting whether the United States would actually do such a thing against Sudan without justification."

Mr Shiddo insisted that the destroyed plant was a privately owned factory, which produced nothing other than medicines.

He described the US's insistence that it had the capacity to produce chemical weapons as "absolutely absurd".

Fires light night sky

Pictures from Sudanese television showed that buildings hit in the air strikes were either a blazing inferno lighting up the night sky or a twisted mass of rubble.

Protesters gather outside the US embassy in Khartoum
While US officials underlined that fact that the attack took place when the smallest number of civilians would have been in the area of the suspected chemicals plant, Sudanese television broadcast pictures of casualties being treated in hospital.

Hours after the air strike, protesters began to gather outside the empty US embassy in the capital Khartoum.

[ image: Protests: US embassy and flag attacked]
Protests: US embassy and flag attacked
While they chanted anti-American slogans, Sudanese television read out a statement from the General Union of Students predicted more attacks on the US, describing the country as the world's "Antichrist".

Protesters who managed to enter the embassy compound pulled down the American flag while hundreds more gathered outside the perimeter fencing.

There was no footage to show whether or not security forces intervened.

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