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Africa Horn
Sudan: Mali Islamist Fighters Seen in Kutum, North Darfur
[ALLAFRICA] Various eyewitnesses from Kutum city, North Darfur, are claiming to have seen armed Islamic fighters from Mali that took part in the fighting in their country over the past week wandering around the city.
"Where am I? Mahmoud? Where are you?"
"Ahmed, pull your turban off your eyes!"

They told Radio Dabanga on Monday that the gunmen are mostly present in the western part of Kutum and in Adumur, where herders have settled temporary shelters.

Sources said these men look and have a very different skin tone than the usual Arab gunmen they normally see in Kutum and El-Waha towns. In addition, their Arabic accent is unusual.
Berbers? Algerians?
The "Mali militants" cover their heads like other fighters in Sudan, but the color of their shawl is black instead of green and yellow, onlookers pointed out.
Upon their arrival at the Kutum market, the militants asked bystanders about shops selling mobile phones and battery chargers, sources said. They were driving Land Cruisers mounted with Dushkas and cannons.
"Dushkas" would be the 14.5mm DShK guns the Sovs used to mount on their tanks as antiaircraft. I don't know that one of them has ever actually shot down a plane, but they were called AA.
At the same time, several displaced persons living at Kassab said that "masked armed strangers"
"Who was that masked man?"
"I dunno, but he left me this silver Dushka round!"

entered the camp last Wednesday and asked about Damrah (Ternish), a well-known Arab settlement located west of Kassab. They were driving three vehicles, two of which were mounted with Dushkas and the other with cannons.

Other witnesses also confirmed to Radio Dabanga seeing unknown gunmen driving heavily armed vehicles over the past few days. They were "roaming the villages and valleys" around Kutum, especially the northern and western areas.
I have my doubts. Mali doesn't have any borders with Sudan. They'd have had to drive across either Niger and Chad or Algeria and Libya.
International news sources have mentioned in the past that about 150 Sudanese nationals had gone to Mali to fight against French troops. The government of Sudan, on its turn, admitted that some "jihadists" went to Mali to fight against the "nonbelievers".
"When Mahmoud comes marching home again,
Hurrah! Hurrah!"
Posted by:Fred

#4  Dushka's purpose was not downing planes but forcing them to fly high enough to miss you.
Posted by: JFM   2013-02-06 10:36  

#3  Yes, "Eagle2" [ALB SOF soldier] does indeed carry a Beretta ARX160.
Posted by: Besoeker   2013-02-06 10:11  

#2  A bit strange to see a Soviet 12.7mm DShK mounted atop an MRAP, but it happens. [see second Albanian Afghan foto]
Posted by: Besoeker   2013-02-06 10:04  

#1  The Dushka, 14.5mm, is a step up from the 12.7mm.
The US equivalent of the 12.7 is the fifty. The US looked at going up to a 60 cal, with increased bullet weight, high velocity and so forth, but, like most militaries, opted for the 20mm with a selection of explosive heads.
I believe the Russians had a single-shot 14.5mm anti-tank rifle in WW II.
It will punch through a lot of material, including a good many Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
If you're going to throw a lot of stuff in the air, without hardly aiming, a Sov AA tactic for the smaller weapons, the Dushka will do nicely.
Point is, if you're zooming around the desert in a Dodge Ram anticipating the opposition coming after you in APC, light armored vehicles, so forth, the Dushka will raise all kinds of hell and it's easier to get ammo for that than reloads for your smaller antitank missiles.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey   2013-02-06 08:28