South Sudan's militia forces attack Abyei town

May 14, 2008 (NSV)

Violence broke out between SPLA and South Sudan militia forces on Tuesday evening at Tiok, 10km north of Abyei.

"Shops are closed and civilians are fleeing the town. SAF and SPLA are battling within the town," an eyewitness told The New Sudan Vision.

The South Sudan’s militia is believed to be aided by SAF's 31st Brigade in Abyei. The clashes have claimed five lives so far, according to sources. However, civilian casualties are yet to be known. It is reported that members of south Sudan militia loyal to Thomas drove in a SAF's vehicle and fired at South Sudan Police at Tiok. On Wednesday 14th, , at 7am NSV is told they attacked SPLM HQ compound where newly appointed secretaries are stationed.

Civilians are out of the town as gunshots are being fired between SPLA and SAF forces. Heavy mortars are being used in the violence.

Thomas, a notorious South Sudan militia leader returned to Abyei in April after spending two years in Khartoum following an incident that involved his forces, SAF and the murdering of unarmed SPLA forces in Bolom Junction in 2005. UNMIS Abyei Sector is still to issue statement on the developing situation.


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