WHO Warns of Sudan Biohazard as Lull in Fighting Allows More to Flee

WHO Warns of Sudan Biohazard as Lull in Fighting Allows More to Flee

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Fighting in Sudan eased overnight after the army and a rival paramilitary force agreed to a three-day truce, allowing more Sudanese to flee on Tuesday and foreign countries to extract citizens.

However, the World Health Organization said there was a "high risk of biological hazard" in the capital Khartoum after one of the warring parties seized a national laboratory holding measles and cholera pathogens and ejected the technicians.

The warfare that erupted between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitaries on April 15 has turned residential areas into war zones, killing at least 459 people, wounding over 4,000, and cutting water, power and food in a nation already reliant on aid, Reuters reported.

Foreign countries have airlifted embassy staff out of Khartoum after several attacks on diplomats, including the killing of an Egyptian attache, shot on his way to work. Some countries are also extracting their private citizens.

Sudanese families have used the lull to emerge from their homes after more than a week of fierce fighting to search for transport to take them to safety, worrying that the exodus of foreigners would leave locals more at risk.

Tens of thousands have left in the past few days for neighboring Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan, despite the uncertainty of conditions there.

The situation for those remaining in Africa's third-largest country, where a third of the 46 million people needed aid even before the violence, is deteriorating fast. Some expressed dismay at the departure of some international aid agencies and diplomats.

The United Nations humanitarian office said on Tuesday it had cut back activities due to the fighting.

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