UN Helicopter Hit, Downed in South Sudan

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Two officials have told The Associated Press that a U.N. helicopter trying to evacuate peacekeepers and civilians was fired on and sustained significant damage on Friday in the same restive South Sudan state where a U.S. helicopter was hit Saturday.

Rob McKee of Warrior Security said the U.N. helicopter was hit by small arms fire and made an emergency landing while trying to evacuate personnel from a base in Yuai in Jonglei state. A second official who insisted on anonymity because the information hasn't been released said the helicopter was abandoned and remains unable to fly. No injuries were reported.

A U.N. spokesman didn't answer a phone call or email seeking comment.

U.S. aircraft were fired on Saturday in Bor, the capital of Jonglei. Four U.S. service members were wounded.

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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - Two U.S. military aircraft have been hit by rebel fire in South Sudan.

Officials say three U.S. service members were wounded, and one is in critical condtion. At least one of the aircraft sustained heavy damage.

The aircraft were responding to an outbreak of ethnic violence in South Sudan that's believed to have killed hundreds over the past week. The U.S. military aircraft were heading to Bor, the capital of a state (Jonglei) that's seen some of the worst violence.

South Sudan's government is blaming today's attack on renegade troops in control of the breakaway region where the aircraft were headed.

The violence has world leaders worried that a full-blown civil war could ignite in South Sudan, and the violence could spill beyond its borders.

President Barack Obama has dispatched troops to protect the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Juba. The U.S. Embassy has organized at least five emergency evacuation flights to help U.S. citizens leave the country.


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