The main rebel group in Sudan on Monday claimed that 204 civilians have been killed in the south of the country over the last few days in renewed fighting with government forces and Khartoum-backed "militias".
"I can confirm that there has been fighting around Akobo (on the border with Ethiopia). Our sources on the ground indicate that 204 civilians were killed," Sudan People's Liberation Army's (SPLA) spokesman George Garang said.
There was no independent confirmation of the death toll but humanitarian sources were quoted as saying that there had been fighting in the area and that injured civilians had been evacuated to a hospital in Lokichoggio, a Kenyan town on the Sudanese border that serves as a base for humanitarian operations in southern Sudan.
According to AFP, the SPLA spokesman emphasized that the alleged ceasefire violation would not lead the SPLA to walk out of crucial peace discussions with Khartoum, which have been going on in Kenya since 2002 and are nearing a conclusion. (Albawaba.com)
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