Khartoum (AFP) - A Darfur rebel leader, who experts said was responsible for some of the deadliest attacks against Sudanese forces, has been killed in action, state-linked media said on Sunday.
North Darfur state governor Osman Kbir announced the death of Ali Karbino on Saturday, said the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) which is close to the security apparatus.
"He was killed" along with his field commanders when government troops repulsed their attack on Al-Guba, in Kutum district northwest of the state capital El Fasher, the SMC said.
It added that the movement has now "lost all its leaders".
In February, a United Nations panel of experts reported that evidence had emerged that a group led by Karbino broke away in 2009 from the Sudan Liberation Army faction of Abdel Wahid Mohammed al-Nur, who began the rebellion in Darfur 11 years ago.
Little information had emerged about the new group, but it "is now responsible for some of the deadliest attacks against government forces over the past six months", the experts said.
They roughly estimated the strength of Karbino's Darfur forces at 60-80, or less than 10 percent of Nur's numbers.
Nur and other rebels from black tribes rose up seeking an end to what they said was the domination of Sudan's power and wealth by Arab elites from the country's Nile River northern districts.
In response, the government-backed Janjaweed militia rode in on horseback, shocking the world with atrocities against ethnic Africans.
But rebel-government clashes are no longer the main source of fighting in Darfur, where militias in search of resources have turned on each other, and sometimes against the government, while violent crime has increased.