At least 25 dead in South Sudan oil state battle | world news | Hindustan Times
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At least 25 dead in South Sudan oil state battle

The clash between rebels loyal to exiled former deputy president Riek Machar and government forces occurred early Monday.

world Updated: Sep 20, 2017 07:34 IST
A displaced persons' camp in Abayok, South Sudan Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
A displaced persons' camp in Abayok, South Sudan Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. (AP)

An outbreak of fighting between government and rebel forces in South Sudan’s oil-producing north left at least 25 people dead, a state official said on Tuesday.

The clash between rebels loyal to exiled former deputy president Riek Machar and government forces occurred early Monday in Nhialdiu, a village close to the town of Bentiu which has changed hands repeatedly since civil war began nearly four years ago.

“The number of the bodies that were found on the ground were 25,” said Lam Tungwar, information minister for Northern Liech State, adding the rebel attack was “repulsed”.

Lam Paul Gabriel, a spokesman for the SPLA-IO rebels confirmed the clash claiming “a successful operation” in which “the gallant SPLA-IO forces took control of Nhialdiu”, killed 19 government soldiers and seized dozens of weapons.

Tungwar said most of the dead were civilians.

Tens of thousands have been killed and millions uprooted since 2013 during a conflict characterised by rape, ethnic massacres and attacks on civilians.