Oil report

TIMELINE-Violence spirals in Sudan

Sept 23 (Reuters) - South Sudan’s army said on Wednesday it was sending hundreds of troops to the scenes of recent tribal massacres to guard civilians and try to stem an escalation of ethnic killings in the oil-producing region.

More than 1,200 have been killed by ethnic fighting this year which has escalated, fuelled by the huge supply of weapons left over from Sudan’s two-decade north-south war that ended with a faltering 2005 peace deal.

Here are some details of some of the worst fighting:

March 5-13 - At least 453 people, mainly women and children, are killed in Lou Nuer tribe attacks on at least 17 Murle villages in Pibor County, Jonglei State. Lou Nuer say this was in retaliation for large-scale cattle raiding and attacks on 12 Lou Nuer villages by Murle in January.

April 18/19 - At least 177 people are killed in several attacks on 16 villages of the Lou Nuer tribe by Murle fighters. Women and children are targeted in what are widely seen as revenge attacks for the March violence.

-- The remote and marshy Jonglei state -- where French oil giant Total holds a massive, mainly unexplored concession -- has been hit especially hard by cattle raiding and related killings that have fractured communities along ethnic lines.

June 12 - Jikany Nuer, like the Lou a sub-tribe of the large Nuer tribe, attack 27 barges carrying U.N. food aid on the Sobat River to Lou Nuer areas in Jonglei. At least 40 southern soldiers and boat crew are killed.

Aug. 2 - August 2 - Murle attack a Lou Nuer fishing settlement near Akobo town in Jonglei State, killing 185 people. Southern soldiers guarding the camp are also killed.

Aug. 22 - Senior southern politicians say Khartoum is arming southern militias and civilian groups to spread unrest ahead of the elections and a 2011 referendum on southern independence. Khartoum dismisses the accusation.

Aug. 28 - Around 800 Lou Nuer attack Wernyol, a Dinka Bor village in Jonglei State, killing 38 and wounding 76. The south’s army said this is the work of a Lou Nuer militia, adding that a Murle militia also exists.

Sept. 20 - A large group of fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group attack Duk Padiet village, inhabited by the Dinka Hol tribe, in Jonglei. More than 100 people are killed in the attack.