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Death toll in Sudan's Darfur tribal clashes hits 138: medics

Death toll in Sudan's Darfur tribal clashes hits 138: medics

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Tribal fighting in Darfur has killed at least 138 people over the past three weeks, medics said Thursday, blaming many of the deaths on poor health services.

Violence first broke out on November 17 between armed Arab camel herders in the rugged Jebel Moon mountains of West Darfur.

On Saturday, separate clashes erupted in the Krink region of West Darfur between rival groups using automatic weapons.

"Many of the wounded died because they could not reach medical facilities, and community clinics in rural areas are not equipped," the doctor's union in West Darfur said.

It said the overall death toll had reached 138, including 25 killed Wednesday in Jebel Moon, and 106 people have been wounded.

According to the United Nations, the fighting has displaced more than 22,000 people, with 2,000 fleeing across the border into Chad.

Darfur was ravaged by civil war that erupted in 2003 between ethnic minority rebels, who complained of discrimination, and the Arab-dominated government of then president Omar al-Bashir.

Khartoum responded by unleashing the Janjaweed militia, blamed for atrocities including murder, rape, and the looting and burning of villages.

The violence resulted in one of the world's worst humanitarian catastrophes.

More than 300,000 people died and 2.5 million were displaced during the conflict, according to the United Nations.