WASHINGTON — Four American troops were injured Saturday when their aircraft came under fire over South Sudan, where they were attempting to evacuate American citizens.
After coming under intense fire the aircraft aborted the mission, diverting to an airfield outside the country. The injured troops are being treated for their wounds, the Pentagon said.
The aircraft was heading to Bor, the Jonglei state capital and the scene of intense fighting for the past week.
South Sudanese officials blamed the attack on American aircraft on rebels. The country has been wracked by violence for a week after an attempted coup triggered fighting between rival ethnic groups. The violence has killed hundreds and has world leaders worried that a full-blown civil war could ignite in South Sudan.
Earlier this week, President Obama dispatched U.S. troops to help protect the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Juba. The U.S. Embassy organized at least five emergency evacuation flights to help U.S. citizens leave the country. Other countries like Britain, Germany and Italy also helped citizens evacuate.