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UN in South Sudan denies report of mass grave

Wednesday - 12/25/2013, 9:04pm  ET

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, the U.N.'s top humanitarian official in the country Toby Lanzer, center, makes a visit to assess the humanitarian situation at the U.N. compound where many displaced have sought shelter in Bentiu, in oil-rich Unity state, in South Sudan. In New York, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to beef up its peacekeeping force in South Sudan and condemned targeted violence against civilians and ethnic communities and called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities and the immediate opening of a dialogue." (AP Photo/UNMISS, Anna Adhikari)

JASON STRAZIUSO
Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- The United Nations mission in South Sudan has denied a report of a mass grave that was issued by the office of a U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Berlin office of Navi Pillay had said on Tuesday that a grave of 75 bodies was found in Bentiu, Unity State. Later the office revised that figure to 34 bodies and 75 people feared missing.

The U.N. mission in South Sudan said the erroneous report was an inflation of a "skirmish" in which 15 people were killed. UNMISS said it is still deeply concerned about extrajudicial killings and is investigating those reports.

Ethiopia Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom told The Associated Press that the leaders of six East African countries will travel to South Sudan Thursday to try to advance peace talks and end 10 days of violence.


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