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S. Sudan lawmakers say more than 2,500 killed in Bor fighting

BOR, South Sudan, Jan. 22 (UPI) —

A South Sudanese lawmaker said least 2,500 people died in Bor during a three-week occupation by rebels fighting the government.

Deng Dau Deng, chairman of Greater Bor Members of Parliament in the South Sudan National Assembly, said the death toll was based on preliminary reports by local chiefs and youth leaders, the Sudan Tribune reported.

The South Sudanese army, backed by the Ugandan army and armed youths affiliated with the government, forced rebels to withdraw from the Bor last weekend.

The International Crisis Group estimates as many as 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which began in Juba and spread to Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. The United Nations said more than 500,000 people have been displaced.

Deng also appealed to the government and international community to allocate funds for the reconstruction of Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, which also saw fierce fighting.

It was the fourth time Bor has changed hands since a large segment of the army based there defected after sustained fighting in Juba between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and those who back his former deputy, Riek Machar.

Kiir accused Machar of trying to lead a coup, an allegation Machar denies. Kiir sacked Machar last year.

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