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Officials Say Rebel Attacks Kill 200 in South Sudan

Pagan Amum briefs reporters in the southern Sudanese capital Juba (File Photo)

Officials in southern Sudan say attacks by a rebel militia killed some 200 people last week, nearly doubling the previously announced death toll.

Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement, said Tuesday that 197 people were killed in the attacks in Fangak county, in Jonglei state.

Another official, minister of humanitarian affairs James Kok, put the death toll at 211. Both officials said most of those killed were civilians.

Fighters loyal to renegade army officer George Athor launched a series of attacks in Jonglei last Wednesday and Thursday. The death tolls announced by Amum and Kok do not appear to include casualties among the rebel fighters.

South Sudan's army previously said 105 people died in the violence, including 30 of Athor's men.

Athor launched a rebellion after losing the Jonglei state governor's race in elections last April.

His group signed a cease-fire in January, a few days before south Sudan's historic independence referendum.

Nearly 99 percent of southerners voted to separate from the north in that poll. The south is set to become the world's newest nation in July.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about last week's fighting, and called on both sides to immediately implement a cease-fire agreement.