CBS: IAF Targeted Sudanese Convoy

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Sudanese government officials confirmed a CBS News report on an air strike targeting a weapons convoy in January, according to Reuters news service.

A CBS News report released Wednesday claimed that Israel Air Force (IAF) jets targeted a convoy of Sudanese trucks transporting Iranian weapons to the Gaza Strip in January.

The report, based on information provided to CBS News reporter David Martin, was posted on CBS correspondent Dan Raviv's blog.

"If Israeli airplanes carried out the attack in Sudan, it would suggest that there is a shadow against Hamas and its weapons sources that is wider than the Israeli or U.S. government has revealed," Raviv wrote.

According to the report, which quoted Martin's unnamed sources, the attack took place during Israel's three-week military incursion in the Gaza Strip.

"Israeli intelligence is said to have discovered that weapons were being trucked through Sudan, heading north toward Egypt, whereupon they would cross the Sinai Desert and be smuggled into Hamas-held territory in Gaza," the Martin's sources told CBS.

"Israel aircraft carried out the attack," which allegedly killed some 30 people and destroyed four or five trucks, the sources said.

The CBS report sited an agreement between Israel and the U.S. on increased international efforts to curb weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

"American and Israeli diplomats said the [January] agreement includes intelligence coordination to prevent arms from Iran from entering Gaza, maritime efforts to identify ships carrying weaponry and the sharing of U.S. and European technologies to discover and prevent the use of weapons-smuggling tunnels," the article stated, quoting a separate report posted on SudnaTribune.com.

According to the Paris-based Web site, Israel tracked the convoy as it traveled north of Port Sudan and carried out the attack near Mount al-Aha'anoon.

"A major power bombed small trucks carrying arms, burning all of them. It killed Sudanese, Eritreans and Ethiopians and injured others," the Web site stated, quoting Sudanese State Minister for Highways Mabrouk Mubarak Saleem.

Israel has not officially responded to the report, though according to Reuters, a senior Israeli defense official called it nonsense.

"Israel does not respond to publications such as this, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Spokesperson's office said in a statement.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz, Reuters

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