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New clashes along Sudan border

April 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 29 (UPI) -- Sudan Sunday declared a state of emergency along its unstable border with South Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued the proclamation Sunday for cities in the eastern half of the border region and then reportedly launched a series of airstrikes and helicopter attacks against South Sudanese troops.

CNN said reports from journalists inside South Sudan indicated troops there had little in the way of anti-aircraft weapons to defend themselves against the choppers and MiG fighters.

Casualties Sunday appeared to be light; however, the border region has been steeped in violence over the years. South Sudan became an autonomous region in 2005 in a deal to end a bloody civil war and became an independent nation last July.

The two sides most recently have been skirmishing over the oil-producing region of Heglig. South Sudan earlier this month moved into Heglig but then withdrew after Sudan protested to the United Nations and the African Union.