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South Sudan Minister Shot Dead

Civilians carry the body of a slain police officer to an ambulance after the killing of South Sudan's Minister for Rural Development and Cooperatives Jimmy Lemi Milla at the ministry compound in Juba February 9, 2011

South Sudanese officials say a government minister has been shot to death by his brother-in-law in an apparent family dispute.

An army spokesman said the shooter killed the minister for rural development and cooperation, Jimmy Lemi Milla, and his bodyguard on Wednesday. The attack took place inside the ministry in the southern capital of Juba.

Authorities say the brother-in-law was detained by security forces. Earlier reports said the shooter had taken his own life.

Officials said it does not appear the attack was politically motivated.

The late minister is a former member of Sudan's ruling National Congress Party, who later switched to the south's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

On Monday, officials released the final results of southern Sudan's independence referendum. The results show nearly 99 percent of voters favored separation from the north.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said he accepted the referendum's outcome, which means that in July, Africa's largest nation will be split in two.

The referendum was a product of the 2005 peace accord between the mainly Muslim north and the largely Christian south that ended Sudan's 21-year civil war.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.