Middle East

Islamic Jihad chief meets Sudan's Bashir: media

Sudanese President Omar Bashir speaks in Khartoum on August 19, 2012. AFP PHOTO/EBRAHIM HAMID

KHARTOUM: The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, accused by Israel of receiving arms which transit through Sudan, has met President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, official media reported.

Bashir discussed "issues of mutual concern" with Ramadan Abdullah Shallah during talks on Sunday at the presidential guest house, the state SUNA news agency said. It gave no further details.

A top Israeli defence official, Amos Gilad, said last October that Sudan "serves as a route for the transfer, via Egyptian territory, of Iranian weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists."

His comments came after Sudan accused Israel of an October 23 strike against the Yarmouk military factory in Khartoum, which led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.

Israel refused all comment on Sudan's accusation about the factory blast, but officials in the Jewish state have long accused Sudan of serving as a base of support for Palestinian militants.

Khartoum said Israel was spreading "fabricated information" about links between the Yarmouk military factory, Hamas and Iran.

Shallah is listed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation as one of its most wanted alleged "terrorists."

Islamic Jihad's armed wing last November claimed it fired an Iranian-built rocket at the Israeli city of Tel Aviv during more than a week of fighting which it and Hamas, which rules Gaza, engaged in with Israel.

The fighting killed 174 Palestinians and six Israelis.





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