Sudan Denies Iran Role in Arms Factory
Fire erupted again late on Monday at a Sudanese military factory which the government accused Israel of attacking with missiles last week, according to the AFP news agency.
"There is no new attack but the fire broke out again. It began in some places not tended by firemen before," Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the Sudanese army spokesman, was quoted as saying by the official SUNA news agency.
Sudan's foreign ministry on Monday denied that Iran had any involvement in the military factory.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms what is known by all: That Iran has no need to manufacture weapons in Sudan, for Iran or for its allies," the ministry said in a statement.
"We want to deny any relation between Sudan's military manufacturing and any foreign partner."
The ministry accused Israel of spreading "fabricated" information to provide reasons for its alleged attack on the Yarmouk plant.
Explosions and fire spread through the Yarmouk compound at about midnight last Tuesday, after people in the neighborhood reported an aircraft or missile had flown overhead.
The government, blaming Israel, said four radar-evading aircraft had attacked the plant which it said makes "traditional weapons."
Official media say four people were killed, up from a toll of two initially given by the government.
Sudan accused the Jewish state of a similar raid 18 months ago, on its Red Sea coast.
Israeli officials have expressed concern about arms smuggling through Sudan and have long accused Khartoum of serving as a base of support for militants from the Islamist Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip.
Israel refused all comment on Khartoum's allegations.
But a top Israeli defense official, Amos Gilad, said last week that Sudan "serves as a route for the transfer, via Egyptian territory, of Iranian weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists."
On Saturday, a US-based non-profit monitoring group said craters at the scene of the explosion were consistent with the kind of damage created by the impact of air-delivered munitions.
The Satellite Sentinel Project started by Hollywood star George Clooney said satellite imagery showed six large craters, each approximately 16 meters (52 feet) across, at the Yarmouk plant.