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JUBA (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft came under fire from unidentified forces on Saturday while trying to evacuate Americans from a spiraling conflict in South Sudan. The U.S. military said four of its members were wounded in the attacks.
The U.S. aircraft came under fire while approaching the evacuation site, the military's Africa Command said in a statement. "The aircraft diverted to an airfield outside the country and aborted the mission," it added.
The statement said all of the three Osprey CV-22 aircraft involved in the mission had been damaged.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that on Saturday became a battle ground between the country's military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day before.
After the aircraft took incoming fire, they turned around and flew to Entebbe, Uganda. From there the service members were flown to Nairobi, Kenya aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 for medical treatment, the statement said.
The U.S. Embassy in Juba said it has evacuated at least 450 Americans and other foreign nationals from Juba this week and had hoped to begin evacuations from Bor. The U.S. Ospreys were hit one day after small arms fire downed a U.N. helicopter in the same state.
The United Nations said on Friday at least 11 Dinka civilians had been killed during an attack by about 2,000 armed youths from another ethnic group on a U.N. peacekeeping base in Jonglei state. Two Indian peacekeepers were also killed.
Looks like the situation in S. Sudan is getting pretty bad. Long story short about what's happening there - It's Government vs Rebel military and civilians are being killed left and right, and the US is trying to get their people out of there.
Poorly armed aircraft sent to warzone and cannot shoot back.
Who was being evacuated? Perhaps "company" types? Blackwater merc types? I'd like to get a look at those aircraft and see what, if any, mods were done. Hard mounts perhaps?
The main difference between the USAF CV-22 and its Marines Corps cousin, the MV-22B, is the more sophisticated avionics found on the CV-22. With its special operations role, the CV-22 carries a number of navigation, threat detection and countermeasures gear to enable it to infiltrate and survive in enemy airspace.