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Unicef blasts South Sudan over looted school backpacks

Published on Feb 4, 2014 6:24 AM

JUBA (AFP) - The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) said on Monday it was "extremely concerned" over the looting by South Sudan government troops of school supplies and backpacks that were supposed to be destined for children.

The complaint came after large numbers of heavily-armed South Sudanese government soldiers, who are battling a seven-week-old rebellion, were photographed kitted out with bright-blue Unicef 'back to school' bags on their shoulders.

"We are of course extremely concerned to see this flagrant abuse of Unicef education materials by combatants," Unicef spokesman Sarah Crowe told AFP.

"A large amount of Unicef supplies - along with humanitarian supplies from other organisations as well as stores from schools and hospitals - have been looted in many locations during the conflict in South Sudan," she added.

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