UK & World News
South Sudan: 'Thousands Dead' In Ethnic Clashes
Mass graves have been uncovered in South Sudan amid evidence ethnic clashes have left thousands dead.
Dozens of bodies were discovered at a burial site in the country's oil rich Unity State and there were reports of two other mass graves elsewhere.
Violence has flared in a power struggle between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic†Dinka, and his ex-deputy Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer.
The bodies in the grave are thought to be among 75 Dinkas who have gone missing.
Meanwhile, a journalist in the capital, Juba, quoted witnesses as saying more than 200 people, mostly Nuers, had been shot by security forces.
UN humanitarian chief Toby Lanzer said there was "absolutely no doubt" †that thousands of people had been killed.
His comments are the first clear indication of the scale of conflict engulfing the young nation.
Britain has sent a senior diplomat to South Sudan to assist efforts to restore peace, as the UN voted to boost the size of its force from 7,000 to 12,500.
Reports suggest that British nationals are among an estimated 3,000 foreigners trapped in the city of Bor, which was seized by rebels last week.
President Kiir said that government troops had now retaken control of the city.
UN spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the victims discovered in the grave were reportedly members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
She said there were unconfirmed reports of least two more mass graves in Jebel-Kujur and Newside, near Juba.
Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have fled to the countryside, leading to warnings of an imminent humanitarian disaster.
Tens of thousands more civilians have sought protection at badly overstretched UN bases.
At least 20,000 are sheltering at two bases in Juba, and another 17,000 in†Bor, capital of the precarious eastern Jonglei state.
"The estimated number of people displaced in the current crisis in South Sudan has risen to 81,000," a UN report said.
"Given the limited access to civilians outside population centres, the number is likely to be significantly higher."†††††††††††††††††
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned warring factions that reports of crimes against humanity will be investigated.
Fighting started more than a week ago when President Kiir accused his former deputy†of attempting a coup.
Mr Machar has denied the claim and has in turn accused Mr Kiir of carrying out a vicious purge of his rivals.
The country has been blighted by ethnic divisions, corruption and poverty since it won independence in 2011.
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