KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) – Clashes between militia and local government troops in a southern Sudan town killed at least 57 people and wounded nearly 100, a government official said Sunday.

More than two dozen of those killed in last week’s fighting in the volatile town of Malakal were civilians, said Riek Machar, the vice president of the southern Sudan government, according to the official Sudanese news agency, SUNA.

Machar said 15 of the dead were militia fighters and 16 belonged to Sudan’s armed forces. He also said 94 were wounded, SUNA reported.

He said the fighting broke out in Malakal, located about 400 miles (645 kilometers) south of the capital, Khartoum, after the arrival of Gen. Gabriel Tang Ginye – an officer in the Sudanese army who is accused of being involved in bloody clashes in the town in 2006. The U.N. has a 10,000-strong peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan after a 2005 peace deal ended a nearly two-decade civil war between north and south Sudan that left an estimated 2 million dead.

Malakal has remained volatile despite the peace accord between Sudan’s Muslim government in the north and the mostly Christian rebels in the south. The town lies next to Sudan’s north-south boundary and close to some of the country’s richest oil fields.

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