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One dead in Sudan oil town clash
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Dec 13, 2008 - 12:22:49 PM

One dead in Sudan oil town clash

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By Amber Henshaw
BBC News, Khartoum

Map of Sudan

At least one person has been shot dead in fighting in the disputed Sudanese oil-rich town of Abyei, according to a UN official.

The shooting between members of the joint north-south army and police units came seven months after clashes risked re-igniting a bloody civil war.

The head of the UN Mission in Sudan Ashraf Qazi said he deplored the violent incident

He strongly urged the parties to avoid any further outbreaks of violence. undefined undefined

A local UN official said fighting broke out on Friday afternoon in Abyei's market area.

The official - who didn't want to be named - said at least one person was killed and others were seriously injured but the exact details are still unclear.

This incident is the first significant outbreak of violence in the disputed central Sudanese town of Abyei since dozens were killed in clashes between northern and southern troops seven months ago.

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Abyei street
Many fled Abyei during the fighting in May
Many feared May's fighting, which left 50,000 homeless, could plunge Sudan back into civil war.

Those clashes were sparked by an argument at a checkpoint but quickly escalated because of long-standing unresolved tensions in the area.

Those tensions date back to a two-decade civil war between the north and south.

A peace deal ended the conflict in 2005 but could not resolve the boundary for the oil-rich area.

Both sides claim it as their own and have remained at loggerheads over the demarcation of the region.

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