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Fresh Gunfire in S. Sudan Capital After Alleged Coup Attempt

Gunfire has erupted in South Sudan's capital, a day after President Salva Kiir said the government stopped a coup attempt and was in control of the city.

The shooting that began Sunday night and continued through parts of Monday resumed again Tuesday in Juba, where officials say the violence has killed at least 26 people and wounded more than 100 others.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan estimates 10,000 civilians have sought protection at two of its compounds in Juba, with 39 people being admitted for medical treatment.

Hilde Johnson, the U.N. special representative for South Sudan, urged South Sudan's leaders to "refrain from any action that fuels ethnic tensions" and makes the violence worse.

Mr. Kiir said Monday the clashes began when forces loyal to his former vice president, Riek Machar, attacked an army headquarters. Machar was fired by the president in July.

The U.S. Embassy in Juba remained closed Tuesday and reported that most cellular telephone service in the city was not working.

The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, told VOA on Monday that the United States is very concerned about the developments. He said the United States cannot yet confirm a coup attempt and is trying to learn what sparked the violence.

"The situation remains a bit confused. The embassy in Juba has not been able to get out much due to the fighting around town. Right now they are sheltering in place until they feel it's safe to move around the city."

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he is deeply concerned by the fighting and what he said was "the risk of targeted violence against certain communities." He said the government must guarantee the security of all civilians regardless of which community they come from.