Sudan security chief warns foreigners of attacks

Sudan’s security chief has warned foreigners that "outlaws" might target them if President Omar Hassan...

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<?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><place w:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Sudan</country-region>’s security chief has warned foreigners that "outlaws" might target them if President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was indicted for war crimes, state media reported on Sunday.

<?xml:namespace prefix="U1"?><country-region u2:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Sudan</country-region></country-region> has been trying to stop a possible International Criminal Court arrest warrant against Bashir on charges of genocide in Darfur, where rebels have been fighting <city u2:st="on"><place u2:st="on"><place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Khartoum’s rule since 2003.

National Security director Salah Gosh’s statement is the latest of a series of warnings from government figures, who have also accused the <country-region u2:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">United States</country-region></country-region>, <country-region u2:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Britain</country-region></country-region> and <country-region u2:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">France</country-region></country-region> of using the court to force concessions out of <city u2:st="on"><place u2:st="on"><place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Khartoum.

"He highlights he could not predict what kind of reaction outlaws could undertake if ICC issues a resolution. He suspects they may possibly target some aliens," the Sudanese Media Centre quoted Gosh as telling a meeting of senior newspaper editors.

Gosh was quoted on Saturday as saying his agents had been in touch with militant organisations in <country-region u2:st="on"><place u2:st="on"><place w:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Sudan</country-region></country-region> but he stopped short of accusing Islamic extremists of planning the attacks.

His words were the most specific warning yet that foreigners and foreign organisations could bare the brunt of public anger after the court ruling, which is expected this month.

Western embassies and United Nations bases in <city u2:st="on"><place u2:st="on"><place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Khartoum have increased security in recent months. The <country-region u2:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">United States</country-region></country-region> has urged its citizens in <place u2:st="on"><country-region u2:st="on"><country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Sudan</country-region></country-region> to keep a low profile.