South Sudanese rebels have captured Tonga, a strategic town in the northern Upper Nile state, its military spokesperson, William Gatjiath Deng said Thursday.
The armed opposition, in a statement, claimed dozens of ammunitions were seized on Thursday after clashes between the government forces and armed opposition allied to Riek Machar.
Fighting reportedly took place under the command of the division seven commanders, Maj. General Simon Duoth Deng and Aguelek forces under sector one commander, Lt. Gen Johnson Olony.
He said the attack on Tonga was in response to the SPLA aggression.
“In the operation, the brave SPLA-IO forces captured the following equipment’s, One Tanks, T-(55), One Wolit, Three military Land Cruisers (2) mounted with 12.7 and (1) mounted with 14.5, One Worrol mounted with 14 (4) Barrels, two (2) 120 mm, One D.30, One BM-40 Barrels, Ninety-one PKM and Two hundred and fifty five (255) AKM-47,” said Gatjiath in the statement.
He claimed 181 soldiers from the government perished in the attack, adding that they continued pursuing them toward Weipanyikang.
The rebel official further said a separate fighting erupted on Thursday in Mangok area, claiming the armed opposition forces of division five allegedly killed 43 government soldiers, destroying a tanker.
Gatjiath said Guelguk, which is under the government forces has allegedly been surrounded and that their forces will storm it anytime.
He said another fighting took place on Wednesday in Unity state’s southern town of Leer in which he accused pro-government forces of carrying out offensives against territories held by opposition forces.
“They sent out their forces to Thonyor in order to terrify the civilians at the humanitarian base, but SPLA-IO forces repulsed the attackers to Pilieny,” he said.
Fighting intensified between South Sudan’s main rival forces last week in Kodok and Buroc in the west bank of the Nile in Malakal town, leaving nearly 50,000 at risk of danger, the United Nations said.