US Warns Americans: Get Out of South Sudan
Violence heating up following failed coup
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2013 3:25 PM CST
A UN soldier stands guard as civilians arrive at the UNMISS compound adjacent to Juba International Airport to take refuge, Dec. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/UNMISS/Rolla Hinedi)

(Newser) – The State Department today issued a travel warning for South Sudan, recommending that all Americans "depart immediately," as violence rises in the wake of an attempted coup. That includes non-emergency US personnel, who have already been ordered to depart, forcing the US to suspend normal operations at its embassy there until further notice.

At least 66 soldiers have been killed so far in clashes in Juba, the capital of the world's newest country, al-Jazeera reports. Gunshots rang out within earshot of the embassy, and military vehicles roamed the mostly empty streets as residents barricaded themselves inside. The UN says that roughly 10,000 people have sought refuge at the two UN compounds there, according to CNN, and hospitals are straining to deal with an influx of patients.