South Sudan’s Troops Said to Advance on Rebel Stronghold 

Thousands of South Sudanese have been displaced and aid workers evacuated as rebels on Saturday accused government troops of advancing on their stronghold and killing civilians along the way.

Opposition spokesman William Gatjiath Deng told The Associated Press that government troops have stepped up attacks in the past week in Mathiang in Longochuck county.

The rebels have kept the troops from entering the rebel stronghold of Pagak but the fighting is getting worse, he said.

“The government is killing civilians, they’re burning down houses,” Deng said.

The reports of an offensive come as South Sudan prepares to mark its sixth anniversary of independence on Sunday.