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U.S. journalist among 19 killed in South Sudan clashes near Uganda border

A 26-year-old freelance journalist from the United States was among 19 people killed in latest clashes between the South Sudanese government forces and rebels in the Central Equatoria region on Saturday.

The journalist, Christopher Allen was embedded with the South Sudanese rebels in Kaya, near the borders with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo before the clashes broke out, local media report.

The U.S. State Department confirmed the death of Allen on Sunday after the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) officials said his body had been taken to the military hospital in Juba.

“We can confirm that U.S. citizen Christopher Allen died in South Sudan on August 26, 2017 while working as a journalist … We have no further comment at this time,” the U.S. said in a statement.

Among the 19 killed included 16 rebels, the journalist and two government forces, SPLA officials said.

Allen is reported to have covered the civil war in Ukraine and joined the South Sundanese rebel forces a week before his death.

He is the 11th journalist to shot dead in South Sudan since 2012.

South Sudan has been ravaged by civil war since 2013, after President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, who is currently leading the armed opposition.

The conflict has killed thousands of people and driven more than 2 million from their homes.

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