A Muslim mob set ablaze a Catholic church frequented by Southern Sudanese in the capital Khartoum, witnesses and media reports said on Sunday.
The church in Khartoum’s Al-Jiraif district was built on a disputed plot of land, but the Saturday night incident appeared to be part of the fallout from ongoing hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan over control of an oil town on their ill-defined border.
Sudan and South Sudan have been drawing closer to a full-scale war in recent months over the unresolved issues of sharing oil revenues and the disputed border.
Last week, South Sudanese troops seized Heglig, which the southerners call Panthou, sending Sudanese troops fleeing. The Khartoum government later claimed to have regained control of the town.
The witnesses and several newspapers said a mob of several hundred shouting insults at southerners torched the church. Fire engines could not put out the fire, they said.
One newspaper, Al-Sahafah, said the church was part of a complex that included a school and dormitories. Ethiopian refugees living in the Sudanese capital also used the church.