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JUBA - 5 Jul 2020

38 killed in fresh attack in Duk County

At least 38 people were killed and 44 others injured in a fresh attack that occurred on Duk Padiet town in Duk County of Jonglei state on Friday, officials said.

The attack, blamed on an armed group from the greater Pibor area, comes amid reports of ongoing clashes in Pibor’s Gumuruk area between Murle youth and their counterparts from Jonglei.

“Duk Padiet town was attacked at 6 am. 38 people, including five children and six women, were killed. Five homes were burnt to ashes. Those attackers are armed Murle youth in military uniforms,” Elijah Manyok, the executive director of Duk County, told Radio Tamazuj.  

He expressed fears of a rise in the death toll from the attack.  “44 people were injured, some with serious wounds. Also, the national government banned airlifting of the wounded to Juba for treatment, so the death toll may rise because there are no specialists and drugs in Duk,” added.

Major-General Joseph Mayen Akoon, the state police commissioner, said police could not provide security due to logistical challenges.

Meanwhile, Philip Thon Leek, a lawmaker representing Duk County in the national legislative assembly, said the ongoing fighting may derail efforts to reconcile the communities of the Greater Jonglei region.

“Today [Friday], 38 people were killed in Duk Padiet town. There was also an attack on Thursday in Poktap, where four people were killed and 11 injured. As a member of the Jonglei investigation committee, these continuous attacks will derail efforts to bring peace in Jonglei because we are unable to move to the locals,” he said.

Authorities in Pibor could not immediately be reached for comment.