26 killed, 140 injured in South Sudan clashes

26 killed, 140 injured in South Sudan clashes
# 17 December 2013 17:53 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The South Sudanese government on Tuesday announced that the military clashes in the country's capital city of Juba since Sunday night have left 26 people dead and 140 others injured, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"We got the official statistics from reports of the health authorities and hospitals in Juba," South Sudan's State Minister for Health Makur Korion said.

Local media reported the gunfire continued until Tuesday morning in Juba. And the situation in Juba was now under control, the South Sudanese army's spokesman Philip Aguer said.

"We have completely controlled the situation, and we are dealing with some pockets which the rebels use as shelters," Aguer told Xinhua.

However, Aguer declined to give any details on casualties in the incident, saying: "Yes, there were casualties, but presently we do not have accurate details."

Violent clashes erupted late Sunday night in Juba between two groups both belonging to the presidential guard, according to the military.

South Sudan's presidency said in a statement that the armed clashes were a military coup attempt planned by sacked Vice- President Riek Machar. It also declared a state of emergency until further notice and imposed a curfew from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a. m. local time.

Deep differences emerged between two groups within the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit fired his vice president Riek Machar last July.

Some SPLM leaders, led by Machar, reportedly withdrew Sunday from a meeting of the National Liberation Council, the highest body in the party, in protest against what they said absence of dialogue spirit.

Another group known as the Democratic, Progressive Trend within the SPLM, also urged Kiir to retire and not to run in the 2015 elections during the meeting.

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