BATTAKHIN, African "Arabs" of Semitic stock. They occupy the banks of the Blue Nile near Khartum, and it was against them that General Gordon fought most of his battles near the town. Their sheikh, El Obeid, routed Gordon's troops on the 4th of September 1884, a defeat which led to the close investment of Khartum. In the 18th century James Bruce described them as "a thieving, pilfering lot."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)