Middle East

Fighting sends 3,000 South Sudanese into Uganda this week

The United Nations says roughly 3,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Uganda after fighting in the eastern town of Pajok.

U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Katherine Weinright says that represents a "significant increase" in the number of refugees in the Lamwo area of Uganda. The influx is expected to continue in the coming days.

The fighting is some of the fiercest since South Sudan's government declared a cease-fire last month.

Opposition spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel says government forces attacked Pajok on Monday and burned down houses, raped civilians and held public executions.

Military spokesman Santo Domic Chol denies the allegations and says looting in Pajok forced the army to intervene. He blames "bandits" for killing civilians.

More than 800,000 people have fled to Uganda since South Sudan's civil war began.