Artillery strikes near Korean base in South Sudan

Artillery strikes near Korean base in South Sudan

Two mortar cannons struck a UN peacekeeping base near a South Korean' camp in South Sudan Tuesday as conflicts between government and rebel forces intensified, the Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The 280-member Korean contingent, mostly engineers and medics, remain safe, officials said Wednesday.

They are operating in the town of Bor, some 170 kilometers south of the capital Juba as part of the UN mission in the fledgling African nation.

On Tuesday, two mortar cannons struck a Nepalese base as South Sudanese government troops and renegade groups clashed near the UN camp, the JCS said.

The attack left several Nepalese soldiers slightly wounded.

"Currently, there is no engagement," a senior JCS official said. "Military liaison officers in the base are closely communicating with South Sudanese government forces."

South Korean troops also remained in contact with the Sudanese rebel groups, according to military officials.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday approved plans to almost double the number of peacekeepers in South Sudan in an effort to protect civilians as fears of a civil war are rising in the world's newest state.

UN investigators discovered a mass grave in a rebel-held city in South Sudan, the UN said, as a possible opening occurred for negotiations to avert civil war.

The South Korean troops stepped up their defence posture and borrowed additional ammunition from Japan via a UN mission to deal with possible contingencies.

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