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South Sudan soldiers blamed in deaths of 23 civilians in 2 incidents

South Sudan soldiers are being blamed in the deaths of up to 23 civilians in two separate regions in the world's newest country.

A South Sudanese official said Tuesday that the first incident took place in Jonglei state last week. The official said soldiers rounded up civilians and fired on the group, killing 13. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

A U.N. spokesman said the U.N. is aware of the report and is investigating. A spokesman for South Sudan's military blamed the deaths on a rebel commander.

In a second incident in Western Equatoria state, soldiers fired on protesters, killing several on Saturday and Sunday. Liam McDowall, a U.N. spokesman, said nine people were killed.