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Fresh fighting breaks out in South Sudan

Rebels gathered Feb. 8 in a village in South Sudan’s Upper Nile section, where heavy clashes were reported Tuesday.
Rebels gathered Feb. 8 in a village in South Sudan’s Upper Nile section, where heavy clashes were reported Tuesday. Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Fighting resumed in South Sudan after rebel forces attacked the capital of the oil-producing state of Upper Nile, a military official said Tuesday, in what appeared to be the heaviest clashes since both sides signed a ceasefire last month.

Fighting broke out early Tuesday in Malakal, which once was in rebel hands but is now controlled by government troops, said South Sudanese military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer.

‘‘We were expecting it because the rebel commander in the area said he would not respect a ceasefire,’’ he said.

Although the country’s warring factions signed a ceasefire on Jan. 23, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating that agreement. The international community has repeatedly urged both sides to respect the ceasefire as peace talks continue in neighboring Ethiopia. Those talks have proceeded slowly.

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