Life in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, has changed dramatically.
Once a thriving metropolis, its inhabitants now live in a war zone. Helicopters and fighter jets roared overhead as Sudanese troops and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) engaged in brutal street fighting.
The message coming out of the city has been mixed, making it difficult for journalists to reach in a country where media freedoms are already restricted.
But the BBC combed through dozens of videos, mapped the battle and spoke to some of the city’s 5.4 million residents to understand how airstrikes and artillery ravaged central Khartoum.
One of them, Dallia Mohamed Abdelmoniem, said the “empty streets” made Khartoum feel like a ghost town, with people “huddled at home not knowing what was going to happen next”.
Fighting keeps civilians at home
The BBC reviewed the footage from Sudan by examining details such as local weather patterns and the location of visible landmarks such as roads, rooftops and rivers.
We were able to find some of the heaviest engagements in populated areas, including firefights and the use of tanks.
Many targets, including the military headquarters and the presidential palace, are close to home, and civilians have been severely affected.
As you can see in the satellite image above, almost the entire center of Khartoum – south of the Blue Nile – is densely populated. Also north of Khartoum, where there is also fighting.
Monzir Bashir, a journalist based in northern Khartoum, told the BBC he could hear explosions “from every direction” and saw at least four people on Wednesday “near the well where we get water “was shot.
Khartoum resident Heba said the brief pause between the explosions and the gunfire seemed like an eternity.
“We are now more afraid of the silence than the sounds of conflict,” she said. “Because it’s louder after a break.”
Below are three verified videos from the city over the past few days.
First, video from Khartoum’s Al-Sahafa district on Friday showed a plume of black smoke rising from the airport there. The video shows how close residents are to the fighting: Khartoum International Airport is located in the city center, close to several residential areas, hospitals and schools.