South Sudan: Juba clashes claim at least 272 lives

His spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, said the president had talked to Machar, who was sworn in as his deputy in April.

The two talked through a third party and "agreed that if the president should declare a ceasefire, Machar will do the same", Ateny said.

"The president has declared a unilateral ceasefire, I want to reciprocate the declaration of unilateral ceasefire", he told the independent Eye Radio.

In Wau, where fighting has displaced at least 70,000 people since the end of June, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it is working around the clock, together with partners, to provide assistance to children and their families.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate arms embargo against South Sudan after outbreak of heavy fighting that left hundreds dead.

And a peace deal was signed last August under United Nations pressure. The government forces also attacked a United Nations peacekeeping base and camp for civilians who fled the violence.

An arms embargo and other measures should also be considered to force leaders to rein in their troops, he told reporters in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Two Chinese U.N. peacekeepers and one local U.N. staff member have been killed in the fighting, Ban said.

But even there they were not safe with the United Nations saying eight people were killed and 67 injured at so-called "Protection of Civilian" sites since Sunday. Sunday and Monday's fighting was more fierce.

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But we know that troops nominally loyal to the president, Salva Kiir, have been fighting those of Machar since Thursday.

There was anxiety in Kenya as desperate relatives unsuccessfully tried to contact their loved ones trapped in Juba.

In a pointed statement, a Machar spokesman said this weekend's events mean the country is "back to war".

The fighting was meanwhile reported to be spreading to other towns, including Torit in the south.

There were no sounds of gunfire across the city, which has been deserted as residents had either fled or went into hiding to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Aid workers report that the new violence has claimed the lives of over 300 people, including many civilians, and has damaged hospitals and cut food supplies.

Ahmed Soliman, a researcher at London's Chatham House, said repeated mistakes had been made over the years but the primary problem was that politicians had seen South Sudan "as a fiefdom".

Manila, Philippines (AP) - Philippine troops have killed 40 Abu Sayyaf extremists and wounded 25 others in two battlefronts in the first major counterterrorism offensive in the south under the new president, the military said Monday.

The violence marks a fresh blow to last year's peace deal which has failed to end the civil war that broke out in December 2013, when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup. The two-year civil war started after clashes between rival soldiers in Juba and degenerated into nationwide conflict in which tens of thousands died.

Kansas City, Mo. (AP) - Attorneys for the transgender soldier imprisoned in Kansas for sending classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks said Monday her hospitalization last week was due to an attempted suicide. That day, Athorjang called all his forces to not fight the government, stating that he has thousands of forces mainly based in Bhargazal region.

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