Abyei: Several die in South Sudan referendum

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Clashes in Sudan’s disputed oil-rich Abyei region have killed at least 30 people including police, reports say.

Abyei has long been seen as a potential flashpoint for renewed north-south violence as it lies on the border and is claimed by both sides.

One report said 20 policemen had been killed, but this was not confirmed.

Reports of the violence come on the second day of voting in Southern Sudan’s referendum on independence.

The vote was part of a 2005 peace deal which ended decades of civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the south, where most people are Christian or follow traditional religions.

Abyei was due to hold a separate referendum on whether to join north or south Sudan but this has been postponed indefinitely because of disagreements over eligibility.

Col Philip Aguer, a Southern Sudan military spokesman, said that the Misseriya – an Arab group who move their cattle through Abyei – attacked a village on Sunday with anti-tank weapons and artillery.

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