Dozens dead, hundreds missing in South Sudan raid
February 15, 2013 -- Updated 1513 GMT (2313 HKT)
- An ethnic militia overwhelmed government troops protecting a cattle drive, official says
- Hundreds of families are unaccounted for, he says
- A conflict over water rights and grazing land has led to sporadic violence in South Sudan
(CNN) -- A heavily armed militia attacked tribesmen during a weekend cattle drive in strife-wracked South Sudan, a government official reported Sunday, leaving behind dozens of dead and possibly kidnapping hundreds of others.
Unarmed civilians "were murdered in cold blood" while herding their livestock to camps along the Sobat River, near the Ethiopian border, Akobo County Commissioner Goi Jooyul said in a statement on the attack. He identified the assailants as members of the Murle ethnic group and the victims as the Lou Nuer, two factions that have been battling over grazing lands and water rights in the world's newest nation.
The attackers overwhelmed government troops who were guarding the herders, killing 14 of them, Jooyul said. In all, 103 bodies had been found and hundreds of families were missing, he said.
"The survivors have narrated use of heavy weaponry including RPGs by the assailants and use of spears and machetes by some," he said. Meanwhile, he said poor roads were hampering the search for those still missing, including an undetermined number of children, as well as thousands of head of cattle.
Sudan-South Sudan border tensions
The Murle-Lou Nuer conflict is centered in Jonglei state, which borders Ethiopia. Sporadic attacks have persisted despite a peace accord signed in May, Jooyul said.
South Sudan became independent in July 2011. In January 2012, the central government declared Jonglei a humanitarian disaster area and called for international assistance in restoring security.
Journalist Isma'il Kushkush contributed to this report for CNN.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1541 GMT (2341 HKT)
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.