American journalist killed in South Sudan civil war crossfire
JUBA, South Sudan — An American has been killed in civil war-torn South Sudan, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday, while South Sudan’s army and opposition said the journalist was caught in the fighting between the two sides.
The embassy confirmed the death of Christopher Allen and said his family had been notified. His body was taken to the military hospital in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
South Sudan army spokesman Col. Domic Chol Santo said that the man was killed Saturday morning when opposition rebels attacked the town of Kaya near the borders with Uganda and Congo.
He was “caught in the fighting” that also left 15 rebels dead, the army spokesman said.
Opposition spokesman William Gatjiath Deng said Allen and two other journalists had spent two weeks with rebel forces in Bazi, near Kaya, and were in the barracks there when South Sudanese troops attacked.
Allen was shot dead, and two opposition fighters were killed, Deng said. He said the other journalists were still with opposition forces Saturday night and may have returned to Uganda.
South Sudan’s civil war is well into its fourth year, with tens of thousands of people killed. The fighting, often along ethnic lines, defies peace deals and unilateral cease-fires.