KHARTOUM, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- At least 40 people were killed, including soldiers belonging to Sudan People's Liberation Army ( SPLA) of South Sudan, in an attack by rebels in Jonglei State on Sunday, local media reported Monday.
Local Southern Sudanese media quoted Philp Aguer, spokesman of the SPLA, the army of South Sudan, as saying that "the attackers burned at least two villages in Sunday's attack."
He added that the attackers also targeted an SPLA camp, killing eight soldiers and injuring others.
Aguer noted that the attackers, who were dressed in green military uniforms that are commonly associated with the rebel leader David Yau Yau, were accompanied by Murle tribesmen.
The Sudan Tribune website reported Southern Sudanese officials said the attack targeted three villages at the same time, adding that Sunday's attack was the "worst" and that many of the wounded were transported to Bor, the capital of Jonglei State.
According to The Sudan Tribune, children, elderly people and women ran toward swampy areas to escape the attacks and officials fear that they may have drown.
The Jonglei state is witnessing continuing ethnic clashes and violence, particularly between the Murle and Allanuer and between David Yau Yau rebels and the SPLA forces.
South Sudan earlier announced that it had engaged in direct talks with David Yau Yau's rebel group, which consists mostly of fighters from the Murle tribe.
Earlier South Sudan President Salva Kiir offered amnesty to six militia groups irrespective of the crimes they had committed while fighting against the government.
Some of the militia leaders and their fighters have since abandoned rebellion and benefited from the presidential amnesty.