Sudanese rebels have killed eight people in an attack in Sudan’s border state of South Kordofan, including a state official and a local parliament speaker, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) has reported.
Faisal Bashir, the head of South Kordofan's stragetic planning committee, and parliament speaker Ibrahim Balandiya were among those killed, SUNA said.
The Sudanese army has been fighting militants from the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile at the border with South Sudan for more than a year.
The border region has been engulfed in violence since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, after decades of civil war which is believed to have claimed the lives of more than two million people.
The SPLM-N rebels sided with the South against Khartoum during the civil war.
Sudan and South Sudan have repeatedly accused each other of supporting rebels seeking to unseat the governments in Khartoum and Juba.
Sudan and its southern neighbor are expected to resume talks over border security in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday.
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council extended a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for another year amid concerns that the dire economic situation in the country and tensions with Sudan could disrupt the region.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was established after South Sudan declared its independence on July 9, 2011, following a referendum that came as part of a 2005 peace deal to end the civil war.