Several others were either injured or unaccounted for.
At least five UN peacekeepers and seven civilian staff were killed in an ambush by unknown attackers in South Sudan’s eastern state of Jonglei on Tuesday, the United Nations and South Sudan’s military said.
The top UN envoy in South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, said at least nine additional peacekeepers and civilians were injured and some remain unaccounted for.
Armed rebels reportedly opened fire on a UN convoy traveling between the South Sudanese towns of Pibor and Bor on Tuesday morning.
South Sudan’s military spokesman, Philip Aguer, blamed the attack on fighters led by David Yau Yau, a rebel leader South Sudan’s military has battled for months.
“Definitely this attack was carried out by David Yau Yau’s militia,” Mr. Aguer said. “They have been launching ambushes even on the SPLA for about six months now,” he said, using the acronym for South Sudan’s military.
More than 150 people were killed last month in Jonglei, the country’s largest state, in a battle between South Sudan’s army and insurgents of David Yau Yau.