64 people killed in clashes between SPLA, rebel militia in south Sudan

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The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on Monday said 64 people were killed in clashes between its forces and a rebel militia in Upper Nile State in south Sudan.

"The rebels attacked a camp of the SPLA in Upper Nile State on Sunday and we in turn launched a counter attack which resulted in the killing of 57 of the militia components and seven of the SPLA soldiers," Philp Agwer, spokesman of the SPLA told Xinhua via phone.

He said the rebel militia was led by Lam Akol, a defecting leader from Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), noting that "this militia is active in areas of Shuluk tribe in south Sudan. It killed Sultans from the Shuluk tribe last year."

He said the SPLA has been pursuing members of the rebel militia to destroy it and bring its members to justice.

"These are criminals and they must be destroyed," he said.

Besides, Agwer accused the Sudanese army of supporting the rebel militia in south Sudan, saying "these militia centers are in Khartoum and they are sent to the south by the armed forces."

Since the recent general elections in Sudan, three senior commanders have defected from the SPLA because of alleged forgery in the elections, and they have started to launch attacks against SPLA camps in the south.

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