South Sudan militia clashes kill at least 56

By REUTERS
March 7, 2011 11:57

 
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KHARTOUM) - At least 56 combatants were killed in clashes between militia fighters and soldiers in south Sudan's Upper Nile state just four months before the region is due to become independent, the army said on Monday.

Militia fighters killed two southern government soldiers on Sunday morning and in an army counter-attack, 47 militiamen and seven soldiers were killed, southern army (SPLA) spokesman Philip Aguer said.

The south is expected to secede on July 9 after southerners overwhelmingly voted to declare independence from the north in a January referendum -- a vote promised in a 2005 peace accord that ended decades of civil war betweeen north and south.

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