Sunday, December 25, 2011 – According to Sudan military officials, a key rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim from the region was killed by Sudan’s army three days after anti-government forces said they had begun advancing on the capital Khartoum.

The army statement, carried by the official SUNA news agency, says Ibrahim was killed early on Sunday in North Kordufan state, at Wad Banda, a town 440 miles (700 kilometers) west of the capital Khartoum.

Khalil Ibrahim is known as the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement in conflict-torn Darfur. Earlier this year, he returned from exile in Libya after the fall of Col Gaddafi’s regime.

Ibrahim had headed the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the most heavily armed group in the Darfur region, which the government had accused of being being behind earlier attacks.

According to the United Nations at least 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since 2003 when fighting broke out between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime.