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November 11, 2013

Bus Driver Shot Dead in South Sudan Attack

by Yasolo Oketa James

A bus driver was shot dead and several passengers were wounded in an attack on a passenger vehicle near Torit in South Sudan, officials and survivors of the attack said Monday.

Eight passengers on the bus were wounded in the attack on Sunday afternoon, including two who were in critical condition, Torit Civil Hospital Administrator Abwoch James Sam said.

Hospital staff in Torit are working with aid organizations in the area to ensure that the two critically wounded victims are airlifted to Juba for treatment, Sam said. The rest of the wounded passengers are in stable condition and will be treated locally, he said.

One of the critically wounded passengers, David Ayaba, said the bus was traveling slowly along the potholed road near Idolu, around 25 kilometers east of Torit, when a small group of men emerged from nearby bushes and opened fire.

The assailants then boarded the bus and robbed the passengers, Eastern Equatoria Police Captain Ochan Mathew said.

The attack was the second in two weeks on the road linking Torit to Kapoeta. In the previous incident, a driver was shot by a group of armed men but managed to escape.

Security forces are responding to the attacks by beefing up security in the region, Mathew said.

Eight police officers have been dispatched to the area and will remain there for the foreseeable future to be able to respond quickly to any future attacks, he said.