The United States says it has safely evacuated its citizens from South Sudan's rebel-held town of Bor, as fighting between rebels and pro-government forces continues.
State Department officials say U.S. citizens and others from its "partner nations" were flown from Bor to the capital, Juba, on U.N. and U.S. civilian helicopters early Sunday. A day earlier, the U.S. military said four U.S. service personnel were injured after unidentified gunmen shot at U.S. aircraft attempting a similar operation.
In a letter to Congress, President Barack Obama said that he has deployed approximately 46 additional U.S. military personnel to the area of Bor to assist with operations to evacuate U.S. citizens and personnel. He indicated that he may take further action to support the security of U.S. citizens, personnel, and property, including the U.S. Embassy in South Sudan.
Obama was updated Sunday morning on the situation in South Sudan, following a meeting by National Security Advisor Susan Rice with senior members of the national security team and U.S. personnel in Juba and elsewhere in the region, a White House official said.
South Sudan's government says rebels overran the town of Bor in Jonglei state - the scene of some of the worst of the recent fighting.
Clashes began last week in Juba after President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka ethnic group, accused former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of attempting a coup. The government says more than 500 people have been killed, and the unrest has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.
About 35,000 civilians are believed to have fled to U.N. compounds since the unrest began.
South Sudan is the world's newest country, gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.
Members of the South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
Taban Deng Gai, left, head of the rebel delegation and South Sudan's leader of the government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
Unidentified members of the delegation from the South Sudan government and western observers meet at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
A displaced mother and her baby, one of the few to have a mosquito net, wake up at a refugee camp, Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 2, 2014.
A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound. The compound has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
Displaced people gather inside a mosquito net tent as they flee from the fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, in Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
A displaced woman hangs up laundry on the plastic sheeting wall of a latrine at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
Yared, 2, is held by his mother, Madhn, who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago. She receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Africa, Dec. 31, 2013.
A family makes tea outside their makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.