U.N. peacekeepers say that combat is ongoing in South Sudan despite the opening of peace talks meant to end factional fighting.

United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq says U.N. peacekeepers on Tuesday reported continuing fighting south of the city of Bor in oil-producing Jonglei state. He said explosions were heard to the southeast.

The peacekeepers patrolled a highway in Unity State and found most villages along the road burned or looted.

Peacekeepers are on 24-hour patrols in Juba, the capital, but the situation remains tense there.

Talks in Ethiopia between representatives of South Sudan President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar were to resume Tuesday.

South Sudan has seen three weeks of violence that Kiir says began as a coup attempt Dec. 15, though Machar's side denies the allegation.