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U.S. citizens evacuated from Bor to Juba, South Sudan -State Department

Source: Reuters - Sun, 22 Dec 2013 07:44 PM
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. citizens were safely evacuated on Sunday from Bor, South Sudan, to Juba, the State Department said as fears grew of an all-out ethnic civil war in the landlocked African country.

"This morning, the United States - in coordination with the United Nations and in consultation with the South Sudanese government - safely evacuated American citizens from Bor, South Sudan. U.S. citizens and citizens from our partner nations were flown from Bor to Juba on U.N. and U.S. civilian helicopters," the statement said.

The department did not specify how many Americans were taken to Juba on Sunday, a day after three U.S. aircraft came under fire from unidentified forces while attempting an evacuation.

But overall about 380 U.S. officials and private citizens have been moved out of South Sudan, the State Department said. It said it also flew about 300 citizens of other countries to Nairobi and other locations outside South Sudan on four chartered flights and five military aircraft.

"The U.S. government is doing everything possible to ensure the safety and security of United States citizens in South Sudan," said the statement by Jen Psaki, the department's spokesperson.

It said the United States and the United Nations had taken steps to ensure fighting factions were aware that the evacuation flights were on a humanitarian mission.

The U.S. military said four of its members were wounded in the attacks on Saturday when the U.S. aircraft came under fire while trying to evacuate Americans from the conflict.

The United Nations says hundreds of people have been killed in the conflict. (Reporting By Susan Cornwell; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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