South Sudan rebels launch offensive over Pagak town

South Sudan rebels have launched an offensive this morning to try and retake control of their main headquarters, Pagak, near the Ethiopian border, which was seized by the government on 6 August, reports say.

“We attacked the area in the morning and clashes are still ongoing. The government forces are withdrawing from Pagak,” the rebel deputy spokesman Lam Paul told Amsterdam-based radio Tamazuj website this afternoon.

Mr Lam said that heavy clashes rocked Pagak this morning as the rebels “launched a surprise assault on government forces in order to regain their main headquarters”.

The government has confirmed that their forces in Pagak came under attack early this morning but say they repulsed the attack.

“They returned back again and attacked us around 12:00 (09:00 GMT) but we repulsed them. We are now in Pagak town,” the government-appointed governor of Maiwut state Bol Ruach told Radio Tamazuj.

According to the official five rebel soldiers were killed and four government soldiers were wounded during the clashes.