NAIROBI, Kenya — Gunshots and explosions rang out on Saturday morning in several parts of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, as residents reported clashes between rival factions of the armed forces.
The clashes were an ominous development after weeks of mounting tensions between the Sudanese Army, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group led by Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan.
The military, which seized power in a coup 18 months ago, had agreed to hand that power to a civilian-led government this month. But the process has been dominated by increasingly open rivalry between the two military leaders. Intensive diplomatic efforts to prevent the tensions from escalating into violence appeared to collapse on Saturday.
The first reports of clashes came from the south of the city. A resident living near a Rapid Support Forces camp in the Soba district said it was under attack from regular army forces. Videos circulating on social media showed soldiers and armored vehicles moving through the deserted streets of residential areas against a backdrop of intensive gunfire.
With army and R.S.F. units camped across the city, the fighting appeared to be spreading quickly to other areas, said a United Nations official, who reported gunfire near their home in the city center.
The United Nations had received reports of fighting in the Riyadh, Khartoum 2, Manshiya and Soba neighborhoods. “It’s literally everywhere,” the official said.
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