More Violence as South Sudanese Vote in Landmark Referendum
Southern Sudanese officials say 10 people were killed in an attack near the north-south border, as people continue to flood polling stations to vote in a landmark referendum on southern Sudan's independence.
Southern Internal Affairs Minister Gier Chuang says Arab tribesmen ambushed a bus carrying a group of southern Sudanese from the north to the south, killing 10 people and wounding 18 others.
The attack took place Monday in South Khordofan state. Sudanese officials have said at least 36 people have been killed in three days of heavy fighting in the country's disputed Abyei district.
Voting in southern Sudan is proceeding smoothly.
The South Sudan Referendum Commission said 20 percent of registered southerners - about 750,000 people - had cast their votes Sunday, the opening day of the poll. Under terms of the 2005 peace deal that ended the two-decades-long war between Sudan's Muslim-majority north and the mainly Christian and animist south, the vote must have a 60 percent turnout to be valid.
Southerners have until Saturday to vote on whether to remain united with the north or secede.
Most analysts predict the south will vote for independence. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has pledged to accept the results and help the south, regardless of the outcome.
Dignitaries from around the world, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and ex-U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, are in Sudan to observe the vote.
Nearly 4 million people are registered to vote in the week-long poll, including some in northern Sudan and abroad. Preliminary results are expected next week.