South Sudan: At least 115 soldiers killed in clashes


Juba: At least 115 soldiers from South Sudan's rival factions were killed in gunbattles in the capital Juba, a military spokesman for the opposition said. Gunfire broke out on Friday evening near the building where President Salva Kiir was meeting his sometime rival, former Vice-President Riek Machar.

Both men said they did not know what had triggered the latest fighting between their factions and called for calm. William Gatjiath Deng, spokesman for Machar's military faction, said the fighting had occurred near the state house and in army barracks.

"In the morning we collected and counted 35 (dead) from the SPLM-IO (Machar's faction) and 80 people from the government forces," he said. Deng said the death toll could rise on Machar's side "because there are some soldiers seriously wounded". The government side had no immediate comment on the situation in Juba.