Rebels in the conflict-torn Darfur region said on Sunday it defeated Sudanese government forces in battles at Kutum, Northern Darfur, while the Sudanese army denied the claims.
The rebels with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) said in a statement that they engaged in battles against the government troops at Kutum, some 70 km north of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur state.
It added that some 60 soldiers were killed in the conflict, including a commander and his deputy, adding that the rebels also seized 10 military vehicles and burned nine others.
The statement also noted that four rebel fighters were killed and nine were injured.
However, Sudanese army spokesman Al-Sawarmy Khalid Saad denied the rebels' claims, saying that it was the rebels that were defeated.
"It is true that battles took place between the Sudanese army and SLA rebels west of Kutum, but the rebels were defeated and fled to remote areas and we confiscated nine vehicles loaded with different weapons," Saad told Xinhua.
He also said that a number of soldiers were killed and others injured, without giving figures.
Armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the Darfur rebel movement have recently escalated coinciding with the recent presidential election, in which the current President Omar al-Bashir won a easy re-election with over 90 percent of the votes.
The Sudanese army said late last month that it repelled an attack by rebel forces against the South Darfur State, accusing South Sudan of supporting the rebels.
Earlier, the Revolutionary Front, an alliance bringing together the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector and three Darfur rebel movements, claimed it would launch a military campaign to cripple the elections.