At least five people were killed and seven wounded when civilians attacked South Sudanese security forces stationed in Rubkotna County in Unity state, officials said Friday.
State officials are investigating the early morning attack which targeted soldiers and police officers who were posted to the county to maintain order after deadly clashes broke out two weeks ago over land that both the Jikany and Leek communities want to build homes on. Seven people were killed in those clashes.
State Information Minister Nyaliep John Dak said Leek youths are suspected of mounting the attack on the security forces.
Keah Mayuel, who lives in the area where the security forces were attacked, said he saw dozens of local residents marching toward the army headquarters early Thursday, the day of the attack. Some were carrying AK-47 automatic rifles, he said.
“We heard that there were many people captured, but we do not know how many," Mayuel said.
"It was heavy fighting when the citizens attacked the army," he added.
A 7:00 pm curfew has been imposed on the area while officials continue their investigation into the attack.
Officials said they are interviewing people about the incident but refused to say if any suspects have been detained.
James Koang Chuol, the SPLA commander in the area, confirmed that the attack had taken place but refused to provide any details.