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South Sudan truce crumbles as rebels battle govt forces

A government soldier pictured in Bor, South Sudan on January 26, 2014South Sudan rebels and government troops battled Monday over the strategic town of Nasir, the United Nations said, with rebels launching their largest offensive since an oft-broken May truce. Heavy shooting continued for a second day with fighting continuing in the northern town and rebel forces apparently in “firm control” of the centre, UN spokesman Joe Contreras said. The United Nations warned Sunday that the fresh rebel offensive “represents the most serious resumption of hostilities” since President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, rebel leader Riek Machar, met in May promising again to stick to a January ceasefire. The United States condemned the rebel attack on Nasir saying the town’s residents “have suffered from frequent and horrific acts of violence and human rights abuses since fighting broke out in mid-December, causing widespread displacement and a worsening humanitarian crisis as civilians fear returning to their homes.”

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