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Over 1000 South Sudanese soldiers die in conflict with Sudan

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More than 1,000 South Sudanese soldiers have been killed in the disputed oil-rich Heglig, following a fresh bombing raid by Sudanese warplanes.

Reports say the number of dead bodies is so high and it is difficult to give an accurate estimation.

Kamal Marouf, the Sudanese armed forces commander put the number of deaths at 1200.

“The numbers of killed from SPLM are 1,200,” AFP quoted Marouf as saying.

Khartum has not said how many of its own soldiers lost their lives in the ongoing conflict.

In the town of Bentiu a wave of explosions hit near a major bridge and a market, killing at least one child and injuring several civilians.

The latest developments follow South Sudan’s recent announcement that it completed its withdrawal from Heglig.

South Sudan claims that Sudanese armed forces attacked departing soldiers. However, Sudan denies the accusations, saying it repelled an attack by rebels on its own side of the border.

Tension between the two neighboring states escalated after the South seized the oil-rich town along with its oil fields last week.

Heglig is internationally regarded as part of Sudan, something South Sudan disputes.

A historic peace agreement between North and South Sudan signed in 2005 paved the way for an independence referendum in January 2011, in which southerners voted almost unanimously to secede.

South Sudan became independent on July 9, 2011, after decades of conflict with the north. The new oil-rich nation is one of the least developed countries in the world, where one in seven children dies before the age of five.


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