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South Sudan's post-referendum calm ended by clashes with renegade militia

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Maggie Fick/AP

(Read caption) Changkouth Sinchot, a young boy lies of a bed, in Juba Teaching Hospital after he suffered a bullet wound to his left leg during the February 9-10 attacks on the town of Fangak when southern rebel leader George Athor and his men attacked the town and fought with southern security forces. Southern leaders say more than 200 were killed.

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The number of people killed in violent clashes between renegade general George Athor’s forces and the South Sudanese army is double what was previously known, according to media reports citing southern officials. Over 200 southerners died in fighting that raged for two days late last week, according to the Associated Press.

Most casualties were reportedly civilians. One southern official who recently visited the site of violence called the fighting a “massacre” and said Athor’s men pursued civilians into a river, where some were shot and others drowned.

South Sudan’s ruling party is publicly accusing the Sudanese government of supporting Athor as well as other militias in the South. "It is common knowledge that all the militia groups are receiving armaments and financing and support from circles within northern Sudan," said top party official Pagan Amum, the AP reported.

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