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.
Part of complete coverage on
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 0412 GMT (1212 HKT)
Until clearer information comes to light, here's a summary of what we know, and what we don't.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Turns out it's not as hard as you think to board a plane with a stolen passport.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 0300 GMT (1100 HKT)
Aaron Miller says even those with little knowledge of Ukraine should spot the myths we've heard.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
CNN reveals it's not just trade in which Russian interests are strongly represented -- it's in some of the most lavish assets around the world.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
What we commonly call the Web is really just the surface. Beneath that is a vast, mostly uncharted ocean called the Deep Web.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
On March 1, football's lawmakers, the International Football Association Board, met to debate the idea of a "sin-bin."
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1756 GMT (0156 HKT)
"Don't ask me about her again," Justin Bieber tells lawyer after question on Selena Gomez.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
It seems architects are increasingly drawn to buildings you can see straight through.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1758 GMT (0158 HKT)
In the early 1960s, a young postdoctoral student stumbled onto something that puzzled him.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1923 GMT (0323 HKT)
Was it a bomb? Mechanical failure? A hijacking gone awry? Pilot error? Here are four scenarios that aviation experts are discussing.
Today's five most popular stories