James Gatdet Dak, Riek Machar’s spokesman, says, their forces on Thursday, destroyed a full battalion of soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir in Lich (Unity) state.
“This happened when they attacked our positions on Wednesday in Nyal, Panyijiar county,” he said.
Gatdet announced that a large quantity of heavy weapons were captured or destroyed.
“I also want to clear the air by again stating it to you (members and supporters of the Movement) that our forces have withdrawn from Melut town since Wednesday.”
He said Melut town was no longer strategic to them.
“We took all their arsenal they stored in the town since Tuesday when we captured it.”
He said their main target was Paloch oilfields and our forces have now converged and besieged the oilfields to capture it any time soon.
“I hope there will be no more confusion on this.”
Rebels also claim to have captured Mangok town, which was another government’s stronghold adjacent to the oilfields.
SPLA-IO commander, Gen Khamis, told Radio Tamazuj from Panyijar County that there was a battle at Nyal.
He said that they confronted government forces at Nyal and drove them from the area, capturing dozens of enemy soldiers and weapons.
He said the attacking force had come from Maper in Lakes State.
SPLA-Juba spokesman, Col Philip Aguer, said government troops are controlling Unity State.
Fighting in Leer
Meanwhile, violence is reportedly continuing in Leer County, which is located to the north of Panyijar.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) head of mission in South Sudan, Paul Critchley, told AFP news agency that more than 200 South Sudanese health workers employed by MSF fled Leer for their own safety into surrounding swamps along with the town’s other residents.
He reported recovering the bodies of two dead children from the swamp and reported that a woman from the group had been abducted.
Targeted killings in Melut
An SPLA officer accuses a tribal militia supported by the Juba government of carrying out targeted killings against Shilluk tribesmen in the Melut area after the recapture of the town from opposition hands on Tuesday evening
The army officer who preferred told Radio Tamazuj that a tribal militia fighting alongside government troops killed an SPLA soldier from the Shilluk tribe and an elderly Shilluk man aged 85 on Tuesday evening.
The tribal militia started to target members of the Shilluk tribe after General Olony’s forces fought the government in Malakal and Melut areas.
Col. Philip Aguer, SPLA spokesman denied the claims saying they were “lies being circulated by some individuals”.
Yet, the commander for the opposition-aligned forces of General Johnson Olony said that clashes are continuing in Akoka between government forces led by former militia commander Yohanis Okiech and those of the defected SPLA General Johnson Olony.
Brigadier Nyagual Ajak, the spokesman of Olony’s forces, confirmed that they were fighting the government forces for three days and had repulsed a Dinka militia from Akoka.
The number of civilians killed in cross-fire or deliberately targeted in Melut town in Upper Nile State has reached to at least eight.
More fighting in Jonglei
Dozens of citizens were wounded in clashes between the government and SPLA-IO fighters at Pajut area between Duk and Uror Counties in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, an official said.
Jonglei state information minister Jodi Jonglei said the wounded civilians were brought to Bor Hospital for treatment.
He said the wounded citizens were not involved in the fight between the two armed factions.