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Floods kill 17 in Sudan, destroy thousands of homes in the capital

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KHARTOUM, Sudan — Heavy rain and flooding has killed 17 people and left thousands of houses demolished in central Sudan over the past five days, the governor of the country's capital said Tuesday.

Abdul-Rahman Khidir said that central Sudan was most affected by the flood, especially the capital, Khartoum.

Heavy rain since Friday left many areas in Khartoum inaccessible, and many neighborhoods have sunk into darkness because of power outages. Transportation has ground to a halt, stranding thousands of families whose houses have been swept away.

Last year, at least 36 people were killed and thousands left homeless because of flooding. Some 5,000 houses — especially mud brick homes — were destroyed, half of them beyond repair. At the time, the opposition and some of the local press sharply criticized the government, saying it provided no relief or aid to the displaced.

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