UN: S Sudan rebels attack UN base in possible ‘war crime’

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South Sudan rebels opened fire on a UN peacekeeping base sheltering 30 000 civilians, killing one and wounding six in a possible war crime, the UN said late on Wednesday. Fighters in the rebel-held north-eastern town of Malakal, capital of the key oil-producing Upper Nile state, opened fire on the UN base, with peacekeepers returning fire.

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“Any attack on a protection-of-civilians site constitutes a direct assault against the United Nations and may constitute a war crime,” the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a statement, condemning the attack “in the strongest possible terms.”

“The wounded are currently receiving treatment at the hospital inside the UNMISS compound, and one is said to be in a critical condition,” it added.

 Over 142 000 civilians are sheltering in UN bases across the country, and have been attacked previously by warring forces.

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