Thousands Flee, Many Dead After Gunmen Raid South Sudanese Town

Gunmen raided a state capital in South Sudan, sparking violence that left “many” people dead and sent 10,000 fleeing for the protection of United Nations peacekeepers.

The unidentified assailants stormed Wau town early Saturday, with two people killed in an initial shootout, mayor Akol Akol Ajith said by phone. While officials are still calculating the death toll, Ajith said he’d received reports of “many more people who died” in Wau, which is about 508 kilometers (316 miles) northwest of the capital, Juba.

Army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said in an e-mailed statement that the fighting was between security forces and “anti-peace elements” supported by “tribal fighters.” The UN mission in the oil-producing country is providing civilians with protection next to its base in Wau, acting spokeswoman Shantal Persaud said in an e-mailed response to questions.

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