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Thirty two killed in south Sudan militia clashes

4/13/2006 12:35am

13 April 2006

JALAHAK: Thirty-two people, including 17 civilians, have been killed in five days of fighting between members of a southern Sudanese militia group, local officials said.

The fighting was between two factions of the South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF), which had fought alongside Sudanese government forces against the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) during a north-south civil war.

One SSDF faction joined SPLA forces and the other joined the government army after a peace deal signed last year stipulated armed groups had to join the army or the SPLA.

"The enemy militias attacked," local official Gatkoth Garhoth told Reuters by telephone, adding that 15 civilians and 15 fighters had been killed.

Garhoth said the fighting started in the area of Nasir in Upper Nile state, where he is a commissioner. Another official said the violence had spread to the nearby area of Ulang.

"There was fighting today and it is still continuing. . . two women have been killed," said Gabriel Tut Kai, an official from Ulang.

Ulang and Nasir are both about 400km north of Malakal town.

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