56 killed in fight­ing around S Su­dan town of Malakal

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

Heavy fight­ing around the town of Malakal in South Su­dan left dozens of peo­ple dead at the weekend, a mil­i­tary spokesman said on Sun­day, af­ter rebels said they would try to seize con­trol of the town. The rebels had at­tacked gov­ern­ment po­si­tions on Fri­day night but the mil­i­tary held their ground, army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said. “Our forces were able to suc­cess­fully drive them back with heavy ca­su­al­ties. More than 56 rebels were killed,” he told a group of jour­nal­ists whom the gov­ern­ment had flown to Malakal on Sun­day to see the sit­u­a­tion. “We came here ... to let the peo­ple of South Su­dan, and in par­tic­u­lar the re­gion, know that Malakal was not cap­tured by the rebels as re­ported at the weekend.” It was not pos­si­ble to in­de­pen­dently verify the re­ported ca­su­alty fig­ures, but a Reuters pho­tog­ra­pher who flew to Lalo, a camp near Malakal, with the mil­i­tary saw 15 bod­ies nearby, a burnt build­ing within the base, and bod­ies scat­tered in other po­si­tions. Soldiers said they were ex­pect­ing an­other at­tack. On Fri­day, the rebels said they cap­tured Lalo and the nearby lo­ca­tion of Wa­j­wok, and planned to seize Malakal.

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