UN: Hundreds estimated dead in South Sudan violence

President of world’s newest country blames failed coup attempt for deaths of at least 400 people in Juba

UN diplomats said hundreds of people are estimated dead in violence in South Sudan.

Diplomats said Tuesday they were told that local sources in the country’s capital put the death toll at 400 to 500, but that figure could not be verified.

The South Sudan president has blamed the violence on a coup attempt by soldiers loyal to his former deputy.

The president of the Security Council says the fighting in the world’s newest country is “apparently largely along ethnic lines.”

French Ambassador Gerard Araud says up to 20,000 people have taken refuge with the UN mission in the capital, Juba.

Araud says the council received only “patchy information” in a special briefing by the UN peacekeeping chief, with the cause for the violence yet unknown.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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