December 21, 2012 / 6:05 PM / in 5 years

South Sudan denies shooting down U.N. helicopter, blames rebels

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KHARTOUM, Dec 21 (Reuters) - South Sudan's army denied the United Nations' accusation that it had shot down a U.N. helicopter there on Friday, saying rebels, not government forces, had brought down the aircraft.

"The SPLA (South Sudan's army) did not shoot down the helicopter. Rebels of Yau Yau shot it down," army spokesman Kella Kueth said, referring to rebels led by David Yau Yau who are fighting the army in Jonglei state.

U.N. spokesman Kieran Dwyer said earlier the SPLA had shot down a U.N. peacekeeping helicopter on a reconnaissance mission in Jonglei, killing all four crew members.

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