67 killed, 100 wounded in clashes in South Sudan - ICRC

About 67 people have been killed and 100 others wounded during intercommunal clashes in South Sudan's Western Lakes State, a global charity said on Thursday. 

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which cited local media reports on the death toll, said it has evacuated by air 29 people suffering gunshot wounds from the fighting between two sub-clans about 100 km north of Rumbek.

James Reynolds, ICRC's Head of Delegation in South Sudan said those evacuated will receive further medical care in Juba, regretting that intercommunal violence continues to have devastating consequences in South Sudan.

"The only medical facility in the area is a primary health care unit, which is not equipped to handle high numbers of trauma injuries such as gunshot wounds. Our only option was to evacuate patients by plane to Juba Military Hospital, where our surgical teams are taking care of them," said Reynolds in a statement issued in Juba. 

The influx of patients has forced the ICRC to expand the number of beds from 58 to 78 in the ward so that patients can receive post-operative care.

"We often see an increase in the number of casualties treated in the facilities we support during the dry season, but we are concerned about this sudden spike in violence," added Reynolds.

ICRC said it has evacuated 327 patients by air to the two surgical facilities it supports in the country since the beginning of the year.

According to the charity, while fighting linked to the conflict has decreased, violence in South Sudan continues to affect entire communities.

It said hundreds of homes have been looted over the past days, depriving families of their meagre resources and forcing them to flee for fear of further violence.