South Sudan rebels order oil shutdown, battle over town

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South Sudanese rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar (centre) attends an interview in Nasir on April 14, 2014 (AFP Photo/Zacharias Abubeker)
South Sudanese rebels clashed with government troops Tuesday in the key oil town of Bentiu, with the guerrillas demanding that companies end production as they sought to capture oilfields.
A spokesman for former vice president and opposition leader Riek Machar says fighters recaptured Bentiu on Tuesday.
Joseph Contreras, a spokesman for the United Nations mission in South Sudan, says five foreign oil workers were injured on Monday after they were caught up in attacks on an oil refinery about 30 kilometers from Bentiu. He says U.N. peacekeepers evacuated workers from the site. 
Gatdet says some of the people who have sought refuge at a U.N. facility in the region have been celebrating the alleged rebel take-over.
"The civilians in the U.N. compound have come out dancing, singing, ululating and welcoming the rebels inside the town." 
South Sudan\’s conflict erupted in mid-December after the government accused Machar of leading an attempted coup.
Fighting at an army headquarters in the capital, Juba, set off weeks of deadly clashes that have left thousands dead and prompted more than one million to flee their homes.

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