JUBA, South Sudan — Armed rebels that South Sudan believes are backed by Sudan opened fire on a United Nations convoy on Tuesday, killing five UN peacekeepers from India and at least seven civilians, officials said.
Hilde Johnson, the top UN envoy in South Sudan, said in a statement that at least nine additional peacekeepers and civilians were injured and some remain unaccounted for.
South Sudan’s military spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, blamed the attack on fighters led by David Yau Yau, a rebel leader that South Sudan’s military has battled.
Aguer said the attack took place on a convoy traveling between the South Sudanese towns of Pibor and Bor.
‘‘Definitely this attack was carried out by David Yau Yau’s militia,’’ Aguer said. ‘‘They have been launching ambushes even on the SPLA for about six months now,’’ he said, using the acronym for South Sudan’s military.
Kieran Dwyer, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping department, said: ‘‘This was clearly a deliberate, targeted attack against a United Nations convoy by about 200 armed men.’’