Foreigners Stuck in S. Sudan City US Evacuated

Thousands trapped as UN warns of rising violence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2013 4:32 AM CST
Canadians, Brits Stuck in S. Sudan City US Evacuated
Wounded civilians from Bor, the capital of Jonglei state and said to be the scene of fierce clashes between government troops and rebels, are assisted after being transported by UN helicopter.   (AP Photo/UNMISS)

British, Canadian, and Kenyan citizens are among 3,000 foreigners trapped in a South Sudan city experiencing bouts of heavy machine gun fire, one of the most violent areas of a weeklong conflict that has likely killed more than 1,000 people, a top United Nations official says. Australians, Ugandans, and Ethiopians are also among 17,000 people seeking protection at a UN base in Bor, where rebels fired on American military aircraft as they evacuated 15 American citizens.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to add 5,500 troops and police to the 7,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, citing growing violence in many parts of the country, human rights abuses, "and killings fueled by ethnic tensions." He said the situation is "of mounting urgency," with tens of thousands of people displaced and about 45,000 seeking protection at UN bases. The US, meanwhile, is rushing 150 troops to the country to protect the US Embassy and American citizens. (More South Sudan stories.)

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