At least 63 killed in South Sudan after failed coup

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By Machel Amos (Monitor Correspondent)

Posted  Tuesday, December 17   2013 at  17:13

Juba - At least 63 people have been killed in clashes that followed an attempted coup in South Sudan's capital, Juba, medical and military officials said on Tuesday.

There was also random shooting in several parts of the capital.

The dead are mostly soldiers, according to senior officials at the military hospital in Gieda, where the attempted coup efforts first unfolded on Sunday night.

The undersecretary in the ministry of health, Matur Makur Koriom confirmed the development.

Sustained gunfire was still heard around the J1 presidential complex in what security officials said was a crackdown on the coup attempt remnants still in hiding.

There was also an attack on the home of the Inspector General of Police Pieng Deng Majok, where ex-ministers implicated in the attempted coup were detained, officials say.

The ex-ministers arrested include former Interior Minister Gier Chuang Aluong and former Deputy Defense Minister Majak de Agoot, among others, according to President Salva Kiir's press secretary Ateny Wek.

The house of the former Vice President Dr Riek Machar, the alleged ringleader of the failed coup, was also raided in an effort to get hold of the remaining plotters. There was resistance from his body guards, leading to an exchange of fire.

Mr Machar, former ruling party secretary general Pagan Amum, and the wife of the late Dr John Garang – key figures in the disgruntled camp of the ruling party – are accused of plotting the coup. They are still at large.

The UN mission says their camp is flooded with an estimated 10,000 civilians fleeing violence in Juba’s suburbs.

Government officials however say the situation is under control.