A file aerial view taken on November 6, 2009 shows the town of Malakal. Rebels in South Sudan have launched a large-scale attack on the strategic northern town of Malakal, an official and aid sources said on May 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/PETER MARTELL
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SPLA-in-Opposition spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, said that the rebels were still fighting government troops in the area that is home to South Sudan's biggest oilfield -- Paloch.Forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy, Riek Machar, have been fighting for nearly 18 months in the world's newest state, which seceded from Sudan in 2011 .The refinery site is some 10 km (6 miles) from the main Paloch oilfields.Thousands have fled their homes in recent days because of the fighting and some 650,000 civilians are without access to aid in Upper Nile State and neighboring Unity State, according the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.Gatdet Dak said that in fighting Tuesday, the rebels had seized artillery from government troops.
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