An advanced column under Nur-el-Kanzi occupied Sarras in April 1887, was attacked by the Egyptian force under Colonel H.
The troubles in Darfur and with Abyssinia (q.v.) induced the khalifa to reduce the garrisons of the north; nevertheless, the dervishes reoccupied Sarras, continued active in raids and skirmishes, and destroyed the railway south of Sarras, which during the Nile expedition of 1884 and 1885 had been carried as far as Ak~1ha.
On the 22nd of June Nejumi was at Sarras with over 6000 fighting men and 8000 followers.
South of Sarras, and to carry the railway on from Sarras.
Hunter was in command of Sarras, and south.