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185 die in attack on refugee camp in southern Sudan

August 04, 2009|Associated Press

CAIRO — Armed tribesmen attacked a fishing village in southeastern Sudan where hundreds of displaced people were camped near a river, killing at least 185, most of them women and children, in the worst violence in three months, a southern Sudanese official said Monday.

A flare-up of tribal clashes in southern Sudan over cattle and territory has left more than 1,000 people dead this year. The violence is separate from the conflict between rebels and government forces in Darfur, in Sudan's west.

U.N. and local officials expressed concern that the violence in the south, which has increasingly targeted women and children, could hamper preparation for national and presidential elections scheduled for April.

The elections are a key component of a deal that ended a 21-year civil war between the north and south in 2005. If violence prevents the voting, that could reopen a path to war.

The peace agreement created a semiautonomous government in the south.

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