An SPLA spokesman said the guerrilla group had raided the "strategic: north-eastern town of Kassala and destroyed a fuel depot and a control tower at the Kassala airfield. He also claimed an Antonov "bomber" (a transport plane used as a bomber) was destroyed on the ground. Kassala has a population of 500,000. Analysts speculated that the attack served two purposes. First (as readers of FYEO know) the Sudanese government has been striking civilian targets with the AN-12 aircraft. This raid takes one plane out of the skies. Second, the Kassala attack may be a pre-emptive assault intended to slow down a government offensive by spreading fear in government-controlled territory.. There are indications the Sudanese government intends to attack the rebel-held town of Hamoskorib. If the SPLA launched an attack on Kassala, it is showing the government that it can conduct a "deep" operation in government-controlled territory.