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Sudan evacuations intensify as ceasefire largely holds

Sudan evacuations intensify as ceasefire largely holds in Khartoum
9 min read
Sudan's warring parties have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire as countries rushed to evacuate their citizens.

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A US-brokered ceasefire between Sudan's warring generals was largely holding in the capital on Tuesday as foreign nations stepped up efforts to evacuate their nationals from the chaos-torn nation.

But security fears were compounded when the World Health Organization warned of an "extremely dangerous" risk after fighters occupied a Khartoum laboratory holding samples of polio, measles and other infectious diseases.

Ten days of heavy fighting until Monday - including air strikes and artillery barrages - have killed at least 459 people, many of them civilians, wounded more than 4,000, and left some neighbourhoods of greater Khartoum in ruins.

Bewildered civilians were seen walking down one street in Khartoum North where almost all buildings were bombed out and smoke was rising from scorched ruins, in unverified video posted on social media.

Much of the city of five million has seen a reduction in fighting, witnesses said, since foreign governments have scrambled road convoys, aircraft and ships to get their nationals out since the weekend.

More than 4,000 people have fled Sudan in foreign-organised evacuations that began on Saturday, including by sea to Saudi Arabia and by aircraft to Jordan and Cyprus.