APNewsBreak: South Sudan rebels fire on, hit US military aircraft; 3 service members wounded

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Associated Press

Posted on December 21, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 21 at 11:04 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Two U.S. military aircraft have been hit by rebel fire in South Sudan.

Officials say three U.S. service members were wounded, and one is in critical condtion. At least one of the aircraft sustained heavy damage.

The aircraft were responding to an outbreak of ethnic violence in South Sudan that's believed to have killed hundreds over the past week. The U.S. military aircraft were heading to Bor, the capital of a state (Jonglei) that's seen some of the worst violence.

South Sudan's government is blaming today's attack on renegade troops in control of the breakaway region where the aircraft were headed.

The violence has world leaders worried that a full-blown civil war could ignite in South Sudan, and the violence could spill beyond its borders.

President Barack Obama has dispatched troops to protect the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Juba. The U.S. Embassy has organized at least five emergency evacuation flights to help U.S. citizens leave the country.

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