NAIROBI (Reuters) - Heavy fighting erupted on Friday in the South Sudanese town of Pagak near the border with Ethiopia when rebels launched an offensive against government forces, the rebels said.
Rebel spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel told Reuters that the rebels were seeking to regain Pagak, which was captured by government forces on Aug. 7.
Dickson Gatluak Jock, a spokesman for the forces of South Sudan's First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, confirmed they were engaged in fighting.
"At 5:00 am, SPLA-IO (Juba faction) forces came under heavy fire in Pagak ... Their main aim was to drive out our forces from the strategic town of Pagak," he told Reuters.
Rebel spokesman Gabriel said: "The government took Pagak from us six days ago. We decided to launch an attack on them because Pagak is our base. They took it from us and we want to take it back."
"We cannot say right now that we are in full control but we are going towards taking control."
South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013, only two years after independence, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy, Riek Machar, unleashing a conflict that has since splintered along multiple ethnic lines.
Machar has been under house arrest in South Africa since December under an attempt by regional leaders to bring about an end to the conflict.
Editing by Richard Balmforth
Newer news items:
- South Sudan govt deny rebel recapture of key Ethiopia border town - 14/08/2017
- South Sudan lauds Kenyan poll outcome as strategic for its survival - 14/08/2017
- South Sudan Rebels Fight Back After Losing Headquarters - 12/08/2017
- Chiek: South Sudan's generation in crisis - 12/08/2017
- South Sudan rebels say have retaken Pagak town near border with Ethiopia - 11/08/2017
Older news items:
- People With Disabilities Struggle To Escape Carnage In South Sudan - 11/08/2017
- South Sudan's Mothers Are Making A Desperate Journey To Safety - 10/08/2017
- German foreign minister visits South Sudan refugees in Uganda - 10/08/2017
- South Sudan: It’s time for humanitarians to get tough - 10/08/2017
- Is Machar aiming for the presidency in South Sudan, as a guest on SA soil? - 10/08/2017
Popular news items:
- No oil in troubled waters - 25/03/2014 - Read 18145 times
- Former Lost Boy Gives Back to South Sudan - Care2.com (blog) - 31/05/2012 - Read 12746 times
- School exam results in South Sudan show decline - Bikya Masr - 01/04/2012 - Read 12000 times
- NDSU student from South Sudan receives scholarship - In-Forum - 29/09/2012 - Read 11803 times
- With prisons full, South Sudan to introduce mobile courts to clear backlog of ... - Washington Post - 11/10/2012 - Read 10266 times