Over 3,000 people were killed in South Sudan in brutal massacres last week in an explosion of ethnic violence that forced tens of thousands to flee, the top local official in the affected area said Friday.
"There have been mass killings, a massacre," said Joshua Konyi, commissioner for Pibor county in Jonglei state.
"We have been out counting the bodies, and we calculate so far that 2,182 women and children were killed and 959 men died."
United Nations and South Sudanese army officials have yet to confirm the death tolls and the claims from the remote region could not be independently verified.
If confirmed, the killings of 3,141 people would be the worst outbreak of ethnic violence ever seen in the fledgling nation, which split from Sudan in July.
A column of some 6,000 rampaging armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe last week marched on the remote town of Pibor, home to the rival Murle people, whom they blame for abductions and cattle raiding and have vowed to exterminate. Read More