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JUBA - 25 Oct 2013

Death toll rises to 79 in Twic East attack

South Sudan’s government has disclosed the death toll to be 79 for the attack in Twic East County last Sunday, 20 October.

The figure has risen since preliminary reports: Jonglei Acting Governor Hussein Mar Nyuot initially said that 41 people were killed and 63 wounded.

Government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth on Tuesday put the death toll at 79 people and the number of injured at 78.

The Office of the President reiterated the same figure in a statement yesterday and added that the president had condemned the attack and ordered an investigation.

“The President expresses his sincere condolences to the bereaved families on behalf of the government and the people of South Sudan,” reads a statement from the Presidency.

The statement added that the president condemns “in the strongest possible terms the killing of unarmed civilians” in Twic East County.

In the aftermath of the attacks the UN evacuated 49 of the injured by helicopter for treatment in Bor town and Juba.

The attacks occurred in Paliau and Maar cattle camps. A source from the SPLA headquarters underscored that the perpetrators were in a military uniform using heavy machine guns.

Some authorities have suggested that the attackers are believed to be loyal to the rebel David Yau Yau who rebelled against the government in Pibor County in 2010.

President Kiir, however, reiterated in his statement yesterday that he “remains firm on his commitment to peaceful resolution of all sorts of conflicts while his amnesty call remains in place for all other armed groups, including David Yau Yau.”

He also called for the aggrieved communities to exercise restraint and remain calm while the law takes its course.