Darfur fighters who signed a peace deal with Sudan's government are poised to attack a strategic town, putting the lives of 30,000 civilians at risk, peacekeepers said on Sunday. Forces loyal to Minni Arcua Minnawi, a former rebel leader who is now a presidential assistant, were preparing a counter-attack on Muhajiriya after losing it to rival rebels last week, said the joint U.N./African Union mission (UNAMID). The threat of a new wave of violence raised tensions ahead of a decision by the International Criminal Court on whether to issue an arrest warrant against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur. More than 20 people were injured when Minnawi's wing of the Sudan Liberation Army clashed with the insurgent Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Thursday on the outskirts of the town in south Darfur. JEM at the time said it had taken control of Muhajiriya, seen as a stronghold of Minnawi who was the only Darfur rebel leader to sign a peace deal with the government in 2006. Officials from Minnawi's movement denied losing the town. UNAMID on Sunday released a statement confirming JEM was now in control of the settlement, 80 km (50 Miles) from Nyala, the capital of south Darfur. It added it had reports Minnawi's forces were regrouping for a counter-attack to regain control of Muhajiriya and that it had grave concern for the civilian population. Minnawi was not immediately available for comment and officials from his presidential assistant office in Khartoum said they did not have information on military preparations. Senior JEM commander Suleiman Sandal said his forces had not originally intended to take the town, but had taken control of the territory after fighting off an attack from Minnawi's troops. "We have control of the town and we are carrying out patrols. Minnawi is not our target. We will keep it and all the territory we control in Darfur," Sandal said. "Our target is the National Congress Party (the dominant party of Sudan's president)," he added. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has asked judges to issue an arrest warrant against Bashir, accusing him of orchestrating genocide in the region. Senior government officials have said JEM is building up its forces for a major assault on oil fields and cities in Darfur as soon as the judges make their ruling, expected in coming weeks.