Nairobi: Soldiers have brought scores of bodies to a hospital in South Sudan's capital after gunfire erupted throughout Juba on Friday evening, a doctor at the hospital said Saturday.
The doctor said a total count of the dead was not available because soldiers were not allowing doctors to examine the bodies, but he said the morgue was full at Juba Teaching Hospital.
It was the first word of deaths from Friday's violence. The majority of the bodies were of soldiers, the doctor said. He insisted on speaking on condition of anonymity because of fears for his safety.
The gunfire began outside the presidential compound as President Salva Kiir was meeting with first vice president and former rebel leader Riek Machar and soon spread through the city.
The former rivals issued a joint call for calm as fears grow in Juba of a return to civil war.
Residents were reporting quiet streets Saturday morning, on South Sudan's fifth anniversary of independence. Many people remained indoors.
Gunfire continued into the night outside a UN base in Juba sheltering more than 25,000 people. Budbud Chol, who oversees security at a clinic inside the base, said Saturday they had received about 40 people wounded by gunfire, all but three of them men.
"They are still coming up to now. All of them are gunshot," Chol said.
Chol said many of the wounded were hit in crossfire outside the UN base. One woman was hit by a stray bullet inside the base, Chol said.
The latest violence began Thursday night with shooting between opposing army factions who are supposed to be carrying out joint patrols under a fragile peace deal reached last year.
That shooting, which killed five soldiers, was similar to the skirmish between soldiers in Juba in December 2013 that led to the civil war in which tens of thousands of people were killed.
First Published On : Jul 9, 2016 15:05 IST