BRITONS stuck in blood-soaked Sudan were warned last night to leave while a fragile ceasefire still holds.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said there was no guarantee mercy flights would continue if full-scale fighting resumed.
He urged Britons to reach Wadi Seidna air base outside capital Khartoum “as soon as possible” and warned: “The situation could deteriorate over the coming days.”
At least 897 people have so far made it out to Cyprus on a fleet of RAF C-130 Hercules and Atlas A400M transport planes.
Brigadier Dan Reeve MC, the commander of the rescue mission, said he could now evacuate 500 people a day on five RAF flights, with capacity to scramble more aircraft if required.
About 160 Royal Marines and troops from the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment have secured the base but those fleeing have to make their own way there — running the gauntlet of snipers, street battles and airstrikes.
The brigadier said one family who reached Wadi Seidna described the horror of “very young fighters taking potshots at anyone”.
Up to 4,000 Britons are believed to be in Sudan, with about half registering with the Foreign Office since violence erupted two weeks ago.
A US-brokered truce has been declared between Sudan’s ruling junta and its rival Rapid Support Force militia.
Military ruler General Abdel Fattah Burhan said he had accepted a plan to extend it another 72 hours.
And last night, his rival RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo agreed to the extension.
Hundreds of Britons have already flown into Stansted airport to be met by relieved family and friends and more were expected last night.
Sara Abdanna’s teenage son was among those evacuated.
Sara, 42, said: “I’m so glad and so happy to see him. I’m so grateful for the British Government. From the beginning we got the right support for him.
“They contacted him and managed to bring him home safe. I wish, if they can, they could force the military to stop fighting.”
There were reports that at least two Sudanese NHS doctors had been barred from boarding a flight because they were not UK nationals.
The Sudanese Junior Doctors Association said two members were turned away after risking their lives to reach the air base 18 miles north of Khartoum.
They said: “They have been denied a seat on the evacuation plane.
“They went through a dangerous journey to get to Wadi Seidna amid a fragile ceasefire and queued for hours just to be thrown out and left with no hope to be able to return to their home and job.”
A friend said the docs who both work in Britain were devastated.
The mass evacuation, codenamed Operation Pitting, followed an earlier SAS mission which successfully rescued embassy staff and their families.
The special forces soldiers swooped into Khartoum on US Osprey plane-chopper hybrids before escorting the terrified diplomats to the air base on Sunday.
A source said the SAS — motto Who Dares Wins — was now braced to rescue those too scared to leave their homes, should the Government give the order.
But Mr Cleverly insisted troops would not be used to escort convoys as coaches were too vulnerable to attack and those needing them were too widely spread.
He said: “Providing a coach doesn’t provide protection. It’s not possible to give protected convoys from what could be a large number of locations.”
Meanwhile, special forces teams from a number of Western nations arranged covert pick-ups.
At least two US citizens and an Egyptian diplomat are among more than 500 people killed in the clashes. More than 4,000 have been wounded.
A British doctor who was shot in the leg had earlier refused to leave without his 86-year-old mother who did not have a UK passport.
Mr Cleverly added: “We’ve said who we are able to help.
“I know there are difficult cases, and we are trying to facilitate as many people to leave the country by as many different routes as possible.”
Egypt said 16,000 refugees had crossed its border while the UN warned as many as 270,000 people would be displaced into neighbouring countries including Libya, Ethiopia and Chad.
Giles Lever, Britain’s ambassador to Sudan, was on holiday when the fighting flared.
The Foreign Office said he was relocating to Ethiopia to, “lead the UK’s diplomatic efforts in the region to bring fighting to an end”.
WORKING FROM HOME DURING INTERNATIONAL CRISIS
THE Foreign Office was the worst attended department in the week Sudan’s bloody civil war intensified.
Just 51 per cent of desks in its sprawling Whitehall HQ were occupied last week, according to the latest stats. The rest of its staff were working from home.
Former Cabinet minister Jacob Rees Mogg condemned the no-shows yesterday. He told The Sun: “With such important work to, do people ought to be in the office working together.”
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance added: “During an international crisis, it should be all hands on deck.
The Foreign insisted “hundreds of officials are working around the clock in our crisis centre”.