A spokesman for the South Sudanese government said at least 60 more people were wounded in the attack, which occurred in an oil-rich section of Jonglei state in the eastern part of South Sudan.
The spokesman blamed the bloodshed on rebels led by David YauYau, who has been fighting the South Sudan government since 2010 — a year before the country formally separated from Sudan.
YauYau agreed to a cease-fire in 2011. But he later resumed his armed rebellion after the new South Sudanese government launched a disarmament campaign aimed at local militias which critics claimed was marred by human-rights violations.
YauYau denied his forces were involved in the early Sunday raid.
The perpetrators are “not from our group," YauYau told the Voice of America. "Our group remains where they are. Our attacks are not against the civilian population."
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