Bombs hit evangelical Bible school in Sudan, group says

Two bombs landed inside the compound in South Kordofan, but there were no injuries, says the group that runs the school.

Story highlights

  • Rev. Franklin Graham's group, Samaritan's Purse, supports the school
  • At least 8 bombs were dropped in the area during school's first day of classes
  • Two bombs landed inside the compound, but no injuries were reported
  • More than 78,000 have fled South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since August
A Christian evangelical group said Thursday that a Bible school -- backed by American evangelist Franklin Graham -- was destroyed in the latest bombing raid to hit South Kordofan, an oil-rich Sudanese province that borders the newly created independent country of South Sudan.
At least eight bombs were dropped in the area Wednesday during the school's first day of classes, according to a statement by Samaritan's Purse, Graham's Christian humanitarian group, which supports the school.
Two bombs landed inside the compound -- located in the region's Nuba Mountains -- destroying two Heiban Bible College buildings and igniting grass fires across the area, the group said in a statement
No injuries were reported.
"It was a miracle that no one was injured," the statement added.
Graham, who has called on the international community to take out Sudan's air assets and establish a no-fly zone in the region, said in a statement Thursday that he blamed Sudan's air force for the strike.
At least four churches have been destroyed since August, the group said.
"We are deeply concerned for the welfare and lives of the people of South Kordofan and we condemn the bombing of churches and Christian facilities," added Graham, son of the famed Rev. Billy Graham.
More than 78,000 people have fled South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since August of last year after an armed rebellion took root, the United Nations reported. The Sudanese government is thought to have responded to the rebellion by conducting sustained air raids with the use of Russian-made Antonov bombers, which have raised concerns over civilian casualties.
Decades of civil war between the north and south, costing as many as 2 million lives, formally ended with a U.S.-brokered peace treaty in 2005.
But before South Sudan gained independence in July of last year, human rights monitors expressed concerns that longstanding grievances could again lead to violence consuming the region.
In November, there were several days of bombings near an entry point for refugees at the border, the United Nations reported. It did not specify who launched the bombs.