(AFP) – Jan 5, 2012
UNITED NATIONS — UN peacekeepers have seen several dozen bodies in a remote South Sudan town which came under attack this week from a rival tribe, a top UN official said Thursday.
About 6,000 armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe attacked Pibor and only withdrew after government troops opened fire. Thousands of people fled before the attack in Jonglei state and an unknown number were killed.
Peacekeepers and staff from the UN mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, "have seen several dozen bodies," peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council on the tensions.
Gunmen burned down thatched huts and looted a hospital run by an aid group. Unconfirmed reports said about 150 women and children were killed as they fled Pibor. Ladsous said UN helicopters took 75-80 injured people to safety.
Several hundred UNMISS peacekeepers are in Pibor and extra government forces have also been sent to the town. Ladsous said the clash had been "a very serious crisis and one revealing of serious ethnic tensions" in South Sudan.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July and there have been a number of clashes in Jonglei state between the Lou Nuer and the rival Murle tribe who accuse each other of smuggling cattle. More than 1,000 have been killed in recent months in Jonglei.
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