South Sudan fighting claims 272 lives

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  1. Atilla

    Atilla Major

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    South Sudan fighting claims 272 lives: govt source

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    At least 272 people have died in fighting between South Sudan's rival factions in the capital Juba, including 33 civilians, a government source said on Sunday, as heavy gunfire erupted again in parts of the city.

    The fighting broke out on Thursday and Friday on the eve of the country's fifth anniversary of independence, between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and soldiers who support vice president Riek Machar.

    A spokesman for former rebel leader turned vice president Riek Machar blamed government troops.

    "Our forces have been attacked at Jebel base," said James Gatdet Dak, who claimed the attack had been repulsed. "We hope it will not escalate," he said.

    The violence has raised fears South Sudan could face more instability after emerging from a two-year civil war, which began in December 2013 after Kiir sacked Machar as vice president for allegedly plotting a coup.

    On Saturday Juba was calm, but on Sunday a Reuters witness said gunfire was heard in the Gudele and Jebel suburbs of Juba, near the military barracks that host troops loyal to Machar.

    "For about 30 to 40 minutes we heard sounds of heavy artillery in the direction of Jebel area," an aide worker based in Juba, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.

    South Sudan's civil war was fought largely along ethnic lines with Kiir, a Dinka, and Machar, a Nuer, drawing support from their respective tribes.

    A peace agreement last August ended the war but Kiir and Machar have yet to integrate their forces, a key part of the peace deal.

    http://www.trtworld.com/mea/south-sudan-fighting-claims-272-lives-govt-source-140844
     
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