December 21, 2013, 01:28 pm
Four US troops stabilized after S. Sudan attack
By Molly Hooper
Four U.S. military service members were injured Saturday when gunfire hit their aircraft during a mission to evacuate Americans in South Sudan, according to the Department of Defense.
The damaged aircraft diverted to Entebbe, Uganda, where the wounded were transferred to a U.S. Air Force C-17 plane and flown to Nairobi, Kenya for medical treatment. All four service members were treated and are in stable condition, the United States Africa Command said in a statement Saturday.
Three aircraft were attacked by small-arms fire while approaching the town of Bor, the military said. All three aircraft sustained damage.
A coup attempt in South Sudan has caused an uptick in violence in the volatile African country. Earlier this week, President Obama dispatched additional security to protect the U.S. Embassy in Juba, the capital.
Officials in the South Sudan government denied involvement with the attack on U.S. aircraft, according to the AP.
On Thursday, U.S. House co-chairs of the Sudan and South Sudan Caucus, called on “all leaders” in South Sudan to stop the “tragic violence in Juba and elsewhere in the country.”
“We are deeply concerned about the violence and killings that have spread across Juba over the past few days, as well as the internal displacement caused by the unrest," co-chairs Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said in a statement.
"We urge all who have resorted to force to rededicate themselves to the democratic ideals which South Sudan has long strived toward.”
This story was updated at 1:12 p.m.