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Dozens killed in fresh tribal conflict in South Sudan

01-13-2012 09:19 BJT

KHARRTOUM, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- More than 50 people were killed in the latest tribal conflict in the hotspot of Jonglei state in South Sudan, a South Sudan official said on Thursday.

The anonymous official in the government of the world's newest country said that the fresh cycle of violence in Jonglei state had continued Wednesday, with youths from the ethnic Murle community launching a counter attack on Uror County, burning down villages and rustling a large number of cattle.

"Over 50 people were killed, and most of them were women and children, with some more others wounded," the official noted.

The attack was launched by young armed men of the Murle tribe at the villages of the rival Lou-Nuer tribe of Wek and Panyok in Tiam Payam district from 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) until the midnight, according to the official.

Around 60,000 have been displaced by the violence between the Murle and the Lou-Nuer, which began on Dec. 23 and lasted until last week, according to figures from the United Nations.

Wednesday's clash occurred as local officials reported that displaced persons were returning to their villages in the restive state.

The commissioner of beleaguered Pibor County, Joshua Konyi, said Wednesday that some people, mostly women with children and elderly people, who had fled the violence, started returning to the area.

The village was one of the latest to succumb to ethnic clashes which began last month among the Lou-Nuer and the Murle. Commissioner Konyi has estimated that over 3,000 people died in the violence but this has not been independently verified.

"The security situation has subsided though it remains unpredictable," Commissioner Konyi told the Sudantribune Website on Wednesday.

"Additional police forces and troops from the South Sudan army (the Sudan People's Liberation Army) have arrived. They are providing security to those who are returning," he added.

Konyi denied reports that his neighboring County of Akobo had been attacked by armed groups allegedly identified as members of the Murle, a move seen as a retaliation to attacks by the Lou Nuer in late December and early January.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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