Sudanese factions fight over army base in Khartoum

FILE PHOTO: Drone footage shows dense smoke rising from fires near capital Khartoum

CAIRO (Reuters) - Sudanese military factions battled for a third day over an army base in the capital, eyewitnesses said on Tuesday, as both sides struggle for advantage in a more than four-month war that has devastated the country.

After the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) circulated video of its soldiers claiming to have entered the base and captured tanks, army sources said they had managed to drive them out.

If the army were to lose the Armoured Corps base, its last stronghold in the capital Khartoum would be the army headquarters in the centre of the city.

Residents' committees reported displacement and deaths among civilians during days of clashes.

The RSF has dominated on the ground since war broke out in Sudan on April 15, while the army, which has warplanes and heavier artillery, has maintained control of its main bases in the capital and in central and eastern parts of the country.

The two forces have fought fiercely over bases and supply routes west of Khartoum in the Kordofan and Darfur regions.

The army launched heavy air strikes and was met with artillery fire as it tried to cut off an RSF supply line between Omdurman and Bahri, Khartoum's sister cities across the Nile.

Outside the capital, battles have centred on Nyala, which is the capital of South Darfur and one of the country's largest hubs.

At least 60 people had been killed and 50,000 have fled their homes between Aug. 11 and 17, according to‮ ‬the United Nations, as fighting raged in residential neighbourhoods and water and electrical services were cut off.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz in Dubai and Nafisa Eltahir in Cairo; editing by Giles Elgood)