Armed group claims it attacked SSPDF ammunition store

The rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS) has claimed responsibility for the fire that engulfed the ammunition store of the army in Juba on Sunday morning.

The rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirillo has claimed that its “Special Force” is responsible for attacks on the ammunition store of the army at the old general headquarters in Giyada, Juba.

A fire erupted at an ammunition depot at Juba’s Giyada military barrack early morning of Sunday, injuring at least eight people, according to the military.

The inferno triggered loud explosions that caused fear and panic among the capital city’s residents.  

In a statement shared with Radio Tamazuj Sunday afternoon, NAS Military Spokesperson Col. Yongule Emmanuel Thomas said: “The NAS Army Leadership informs all NAS members and the people of South Sudan that on 24/02/2024, around 24:00 hours, NAS Special Force executed an operation on the ‘SSPDF’ Armored Ammunitions Store at the old General Headquarters (El-Giada) in Juba.”

“The NAS Force safely withdrew after completing its mission, leaving the enemy in panic and disarray. NAS reassures the people of South Sudan that it is dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in stopping the suffering inflicted by the oppressive regime of Salva Kiir on our citizens,” the statement continued.

“The leadership of NAS commends the gallant NAS Army/Special Force for this heroic operation against the enemy at the heart of the capital, Juba,” the statement added.

The rebel group emphasized that “NAS remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan by addressing the root causes of the conflicts in the country.”

Radio Tamazuj, however, could not independently verify NAS’s claims. 

For his part, Army Spokesman Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang told reporters in Juba Sunday that the cause of the fire that engulfed the ammunition store at Giyada could be attributed to the “extreme heatwaves” in Juba. 

Lul said that eight people were injured in the midnight fire outbreak at the ammunition store. He revealed that the wounded included a six-month-old baby and a pregnant woman who later had a miscarriage due to the incident.

“There was no fighting. It was just an explosion,” he insisted.