At least 40 civilians have been killed in an air raid on war-torn Sudan's western region of Darfur, according to a medical source.
"Forty civilians have been killed in an air strike that hit two markets and a number of the city's neighbourhoods," the medical source told AFP on Wednesday from a hospital in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. The source asked for anonymity out of security concerns.
Witnesses in the area had earlier reported air strikes falling on two markets and causing civilian casualties in Sudan's second-biggest city, where fighting intensified last month.
The vast region of Darfur - the size of France and home to a quarter of Sudan's population -has seen some of the worst fighting in the five-month war between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, former deputy of army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan.
Since April 15, nearly 7,500 people have been killed, according to a conservative estimate from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.
Others killed in Omdurman
Wednesday's attack came a day after a medical source reported 17 civilians killed in Khartoum's sister city of Omdurman. Witnesses described the attack as RSF shelling.
On Sunday, at least 51 people were killed and dozens wounded in air strikes on southern Khartoum, according to United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk.
The armed forces control the skies over Khartoum, while RSF fighters continue to dominate the city's streets.
Diplomatic efforts failed
Diplomatic efforts had repeatedly failed to establish a sustained ceasefire.
From his new base in the Red Sea coastal city of Port Sudan, Burhan has since visited Egypt, South Sudan, Qatar and Eritrea in what analysts say is a diplomatic push to burnish his credentials in the event of negotiations to end the conflict.
The violence shows no signs of abating while the humanitarian needs of millions - both inside Sudan and in its neighbouring countries - increase.
The war has uprooted more than five million people, including one million who fled across borders, according to UN figures.