US doctor: Sudan dropped 11 bombs near hospital

NAIROBI, Kenya — Sudanese war planes deliberately targeted a Catholic hospital in bombing runs made over two days in a region of southern Sudan where government troops and rebel forces are fighting, an American doctor and Catholic bishop said Monday.

Dr. Tom Catena, a surgeon who works at the hospital in a region of southern Sudan known as the Nuba Mountains, said a Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet dropped five bombs on the hospital on Thursday and that an Antonov dropped six bombs on Friday, causing what he said were “moderate casualties.”

“This constitutes an obvious war crime as we are a civilian hospital taking care of all comers,” Catena said by email. “There is no military installation anywhere near us and we are quite far from the front lines. There is no doubt they were targeting the hospital and they know very well who we are.”

A Sudan military spokesman did not respond to calls and text messages about the allegations. Mustafa Osman Ismail, the secretary for political affairs, told the independent newspaper Al Migahar in a story published Monday that as long as no agreement has been reached with rebels, military operations will continue.

Bishop Macram Max Gassis called the bombings an outrage and asked Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to ensure the hospital is protected from future attacks. He said the Mother of Mercy Hospital is the only functioning hospital in Sudan’s South Kordofan state.

The Nuba Mountains are populated by a group of people opposed to the government in Khartoum who are more ideologically aligned with South Sudan. When South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011, the Nuba Mountains were placed north of the new political border, though their more natural place may have been in the south. Fighting between troops in Nuba and the government of Sudan has been ongoing for years.

Catena told the news website Nuba Reports that Sudan’s government wants the people of the region to leave, so the military is trying to destroy infrastructure and “demoralize everybody.” Nuba Reports, a sight dedicated to telling the stories of the people in Nuba, produced a video news report showing what it said was the jet and the Antonov flying overhead and dropping their payloads.

The video also showed dozens of frightened residents ducking and running for cover.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Flooding still a concern on Snohomish River

Flood warning in effect until Monday afternoon for Monroe and Tuesday morning for Snohomish.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Most Read