Sources said that al-Bashir was transferred to a military hospital before the fighting

DUBAI (Reuters) – Toppled Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir was transferred from Kober prison to a military hospital in the Sudanese capital before heavy fighting broke out on April 15, two hospital sources said.

Al-Bashir’s whereabouts came into question after a former minister in his cabinet, Ali Haroun, announced on Tuesday that he had left prison with other former officials.

Both al-Bashir and Haroun are wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged atrocities in Darfur.

Fighting broke out again in Sudan late on Tuesday despite warring factions declaring a ceasefire, as more people fled Khartoum amid the chaos.

The Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting on Tuesday after negotiations mediated by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

A Reuters reporter said gunfire and explosions were heard after dark in Omdurman, one of Khartoum’s sister cities on the Nile where the army used drones to target RSF positions.

UN Special Envoy for Sudan Volker Berthes told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the ceasefire “seems to be holding in some parts so far”.

However, he said that neither side showed willingness “to negotiate seriously, indicating that both sides believe that achieving a military victory over the other is possible.”

“This is a miscalculation,” Perthes said, adding that Khartoum airport was operational but the runway was damaged.

The first Turkish civilians evacuated from Sudan returned to Turkey on Wednesday, and Saudi Arabia said it had evacuated 13 of its citizens and 1,674 other people, without any sign of the warring parties’ willingness to negotiate seriously.

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The Turks came from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after arriving there by land from Khartoum.

Several more flights are expected later on Wednesday to evacuate the remaining Turkish citizens who crossed into Ethiopia from Sudan.

(Reporting by Mehmet Emin Kaleskan, Omer Berbroglu, and Deniz Uyar in Istanbul, Michelle Nichols in New York, and Tala Ramadan in Dubai). Written by Michael Georgy. Editing by Simon Cameron Moore

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