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South Sudanese Accuse Khartoum After Village Bombed

Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan
Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan

South Sudanese officials on Monday accused the government of Sudan of launching a bombing raid on a village in Western Bahr el Ghazal at the weekend, in which two dozen people were wounded.

Raja County Commissioner Hassan Jallab said a lone Antonov bombed the village of Kor Shamam on Sunday. Twenty-four people, including women and children, were wounded in the air raid and a school was destroyed, he said.

According to Jallab, no one was killed in the attack, which took place in the early afternoon.

Jallab said he is unsure what the Antonov was targeting when it bombed the village. He said no one was killed in the attack but Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency cited a source in the village who said 35 people died.

It has not been possible to independently confirm the Turkish news agency's allegations.

Sudan suspected

Jallab said local people suspect Sudan was behind the attack.

"We don’t know exactly where the plane came from but always (they) used to bombard from the north," the commissioner said.

SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer said a team has been sent to Raja County to investigate the attack.

"The SPLA command is studying to know exactly whose plane bombed the village and wounded innocent people. The plane came from the direction of Sudan,” he said.

Raja County, which borders the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur, has been the target of numerous aerial attacks since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. The attacks worsened in 2012 when South Sudan shut down oil production because of a dispute with Sudan over oil transit fees.

Khartoum, meanwhile, has accused South Sudan of harboring militias that are fighting its government. South Sudan has repeatedly denied the allegations.