56 killed in South Sudan bus crash: Doctors

AFP , Monday 29 Sep 2014

At least 56 people were killed Monday when a bus travelling from South Sudan to Uganda crashed into a truck, doctors said.

"The police first brought something like 20 bodies... all in all they brought 56," said Xaviour Okadi, a doctor at the main hospital in South Sudan's capital Juba.

The crash is one of the worst recent accidents in South Sudan.

The bus crashed shortly after dawn on Monday, on the main highway south to Uganda, some 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Juba.

Police said the bus and truck collided head-on while crossing a bridge.

Many of those killed were Ugandans, Okadi said, adding that around 15 were South Sudanese.

An AFP reporter witnessed dozens of dead bodies in the hospital's mortuary, many with wounds to the head, or with broken limbs.

Ugandan traders play a key role in the South Sudan capital, many running small businesses or trading stores.

The Ugandan army is also supporting government troops in South Sudan, battling rebel forces in a more than nine-month long civil war.

The highway to Uganda is one of the few tarred roads in South Sudan, which is grossly underdeveloped after decades of war.

Fighting broke out again in the oil-rich country, also the world's youngest nation, in December 2013 following a clash between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

The war spread rapidly across the country and has been marked by widespread human rights abuses and atrocities by both sides.

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