Friday, June 3, 2011

Hundreds of civilian casualties in S. Sudan battle

A U.N. team that traveled to the Nile River village 11 days after the April 23 killings saw more than two dozen corpses and said grass-roofed mud huts clearly contained many more bodies, but the toll of 254 dead civilians given by a local official has not been independently verified. The three U.N. reports obtained by The Associated Press are the first accounts of mass civilian casualties in the southern village of Kaldak caused by soldiers from Southern Sudan. The reports are labeled "Confidential & Sensitive Information" and another "UN RESTRICTED" while the third has no apparent classification. Moses Geyjang, the local official, said that once the battle outside the village ended the southern troops came to Kaldak and targeted civilians, who ran toward the Nile where many were shot, the U.N. report said. Geyjang said 254 residents had been killed. That number has not been verified by U.N. or U.S. officials who did after-battle assessments.