Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:34 pm
At least 200 refugees, mostly women and children, have drowned in South Sudan after a ferry sank as they were trying to cross the Nile River to escape fighting near the northern town of Malakal.
Army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said the group was in an "overloaded" boat. The New York Times, which places the number of dead at between 200 and 300, reports that it is the worst such ferry accident to date as tens of thousands of residents have sought refuge.
"They all drowned. They were fleeing the fighting that broke out again in Malakal," he added.
The United Nations estimates that more than 350,000 people have been displaced in the conflict between the South Sudanese government and rebel forces.