Scores slain in South Sudan cattle raid

Updated 11 February 2013
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Scores slain in South Sudan cattle raid

JUBA, South Sudan: Heavily armed rebels have killed more than 100 people including women and children in a cattle raid in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state, local officials said yesterday.
The people of Walgak in Akobo County were migrating north Friday to the wetlands with cattle “and were being escorted by an army platoon when they came under attack by a huge force using automatic weapons,” Jonglei governor Kuol Manyang said.
He said 103 people were killed, including 14 soldiers from the platoon, while the rest were civilians, mostly women and children.
Deputy military spokesman Kella Kueth confirmed the incident and said some 500 people remained missing. He was not able to confirm the military casualties.
Akobo County Commissioner Goi Jooyul issued a statement confirming the deaths of the 14 troops and quoted survivors as saying the assailants were armed with everything from rocket-propelled grenades to spears and machetes.
His statement also confirmed “hundreds of families” were still missing.
“The attackers left with cattle and hundreds of children and women who have not reported back to the village,” he said, explaining that some 3,000 people in all had been moving with their cattle when they came under attack.
“The army is trying to retrieve the cattle from the criminals, and that will not be easy,” he said. State governor Manyang said the raiders were a mixture of civilians and armed rebels and were all ethnic Murle from Pibor County in Jonglei.
Six months after South Sudan declared independence from Sudan, its eastern Jonglei state was engulfed in ethnic violence when thousands of youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on Pibor vowing to wipe out the Murle.
The United Nations says over 600 people were killed in that attack and around 300 more in smaller reprisal attacks. Local estimates were much higher, running into the thousands.
The UN and government said an army-led disarmament campaign that started in March was a success, aside from serious human rights abuses reported in Pibor County.
But despite disarmament efforts, guns remain common in Jonglei, an isolated and swampy state about the size of Austria and Switzerland combined but with limited mud roads often impassable for months during heavy rains.
Tit-for-tat cattle raids are common in this vast, grossly under-developed state.
South Sudan was left in ruins by decades of war with northern Sudanese forces, who fueled conflict by backing proxy militia forces across the south, often exacerbating historical enmities between rival groups.

 


China admits reporting two major quakes which never happened

Updated 42 min 2 sec ago
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China admits reporting two major quakes which never happened

  • Earthquake monitor reported that two 6.5 magnitude quakes happened just 10 seconds apart at opposite ends of the country on April 19, 2018
  • Administration says they were holding an emergency response exercise and mock quakes were accidentally leaked 

BEIJING: China’s earthquake administration said on Friday that it had accidentally reported two major quakes which in fact had never happened, saying they were drills which had been unintentionally released to the public.
Late on Thursday, the administration said on its website there had been two 6.5 magnitude quakes just 10 seconds apart at opposite ends of the country — in the far western region of Xinjiang and in the southwestern province of Yunnan.
The information stayed on its website for at least an hour, though did not appear on its microblog, which is how many people in China first learn of quakes.
In a statement on its website, the administration said they had in fact been holding an emergency response exercise.
“An accidental leak of the quake drill was picked up by the media and caused a misunderstanding,” it said. “After this happened, our administration immediately organized relevant departments to delete the inaccurate information.”
China is a seismically active country frequently hit by major earthquakes.
A decade ago a 7.9 magnitude quake rocked the southwestern province of Sichuan, killing almost 70,000 people.