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KHARTOUM/ GENEVA: The United Nations said on Wednesday more than half Sudan’s population now needed aid and protection, as civilians sought shelter from air strikes and sporadic clashes between rival military factions in the Khartoum area.

Residents said power had been cut, food was in short supply, and drinking water scarce due to the violent power struggle, now in its second month despite international mediation efforts.

Launching an appeal for some $3 billion in aid, the United Nations said 25 million people needed help - the highest number ever recorded in Sudan, where around 15 million needed aid before the conflict.

Signalling no let-up in the conflict between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), anti-aircraft guns and drones could be heard on Wednesday in the capital, residents reported.

“We have been moving from one place to the other in past days,” said 27-year-old Abbas al-Sayyed, speaking to Reuters by phone from Bahri, a city adjoining the capital Khartoum, epicentre of a conflict that has killed hundreds of people.

“There is no electricity, no water at all, and even the bread we used to get in the first days of the war, we can’t get now. We can’t move out,” he said.

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