LEER – A senior commander of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) was killed on Tuesday afternoon following a prolonged engagement with the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) in Leer County of Unity State.
Brigadier General Nyuon Dhoal, who was spearheading an army reinforcement contingent from Mayendit and Koch counties, met stiff resistance from SPLA-IO forces at Leer Primary School in Leer town at approximately 2:00 PM, according to a high-ranking local government official.
“Gen. Nyuon was leading the reinforcement who were en route to assist the soldiers who had been engaged in a battle with SPLA-IO since morning. They reached Leer at 1:00PM, and when they tried to advance, the forces engaged with the SPLA-IO were retreating under heavy fire,” he said.
The official speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media noted that fighting intensified at the local school leading to his killing.
“At Leer Primary School, the fighting intensified, and he was at the forefront of the battle when he was shot and killed instantly,” he said.
The official further said that the total number of government soldiers who have been killed in the fighting was seven until 4:00PM when three others succumbed to their wounds. He said that casualties are expected to increase as more information is gathered.
“The casualties were around ten, including those who succumbed to their injuries later,” he said.
In a separate statement, SPLA-IO sector two spokesman Major Kerbino Yai Pazale informed Sudans Post that one of their soldiers was killed in the initial phase of the fighting, while five others were wounded.
He claimed that eight government soldiers were later discovered dead in the field.
“Today, four government attacks have been launched. These forces are under the command of General Simon Maguek Gai and are supported by SSPDF soldiers in Leer. Following the fighting, we have maintained our positions,” he said in Bentiu.
“On the SPLA-IO side, one soldier was shot and killed by the first bullet of the fighting and died immediately. Five soldiers have been wounded in total,” he said.
“On the government side, eight soldiers were found killed in the field after we defeated them, and no weapons were lost on either side,” he added.