JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 119 smugglers and civilians were killed when their convoy was attacked near Sudan’s border with Egypt, according to a report by Sudan’s defense minister.
Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein made the report to parliament on Monday, according to Reuters. He said the attack on the smuggling convoy, which killed 56 smugglers and 63 people being smuggled from other countries, was under investigation.
International media reports earlier this year claimed that Israeli F-16 fighters struck the convoy, which allegedly was carrying bombs to the Gaza Strip via Sudan and Egypt. Estimates of the dead at the time were between 30 and 40.
According to the Sudanese state news agency, the report said the convoy was made up of 1,000 civilians involved in "a smuggling process at the border with Egypt," Reuters reported Tuesday.
An Israeli source told Time magazine in March that dozens of Israeli aircraft, which also included F-15 fighter planes to provide protection during the bombing, were used in the operation against the convoy, which was believed to have originated in Iran. The source said that unmanned drones followed afterward to film the site and ensure that the convoy was destroyed. Based on the footage, which showed only partial destruction of the convoy, the site was hit a second time.
The raid on the route, which had been used before by Iran, came after an intelligence tip to the Mossad in early January, the magazine reported.