KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's army said on Wednesday it clashed with rebels in the country's western Darfur region, killing three insurgents and frustrating an attempt to shell a regional capital.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels, who took up arms against the central government in 2003.
While fighting in the region has subsided from its peak in 2003 and 2004, tribal violence, banditry and clashes between rebels and government forces have continued.
State radio said the army repulsed rebels outside El Fasher, capital of North Darfur state, which the insurgents have tried to shell several times in recent months.
"The army frustrated an attempt by the Revolutionary Front to shell El Fasher," it said in a text message sent to mobile phones, adding the armed forces seized rockets and killed three rebels. No further details were immediately available.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front is an alliance of Sudan's main rebel groups, including the Justice and Equality Movement, which is considered Sudan's most militarily powerful insurgent force.
Two other powerful factions of Darfur rebels are also members, as are separate insurgents fighting in two states on the border with South Sudan, which seceded last year.
Also on Wednesday, a Sudanese drone crashed near the capital Khartoum, state-linked media reported.
The Sudanese Media Centre said the unmanned aircraft, used for training and reconnaissance, crashed because of a technical failure. There were no injuries, it said.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Andrew Heavens)