Three people died following an aerial bombing by the north on a village in Southern Sudan, an official said Friday, as tensions between the two regions continued to escalate days before the south's independence in July.
Col. Philip Aguer said the north used Antonov bombers and MiG jets to bomb the fishing village of Jau in Unity State on Thursday.
Aguer said the bombing is part of wider attempts by the northern government to occupy border territories in the south ahead of Southern Sudan's independence on July 9. The south voted in January to secede from the north.
Aguer said the north wants to annex the oil-rich areas in the south. The current north-south tensions in border regions threaten to unravel a 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of war that killed more than 2 million people.
Meanwhile, the United Nations and aid agencies reported Friday that up to 146,000 people had fled their homes after fighting in disputed border regions between the North and South Sudan
The U.N. aid coordination office said some 30-40,000 people have fled Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state in the north, where the north's Sudan Armed Forces clashed with elements of the south's Sudan People's Liberation Army on Thursday.
The fighting included aerial bombardments by the SAF, said U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs. Aid agency offices in Kadugli have been looted and most local and international aid staff have fled the area, she said.
In Washington, White House press secretary Jay Carney warned the Sudanese government to "carefully consider" the consequences of its actions in South Kordofan with less than a month remaining before the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Carney said reports of grave violations of international humanitarian laws will negatively affect the process of the U.S. and Sudan forging closer ties and will put Sudan on a path toward deeper international isolation.
He urged the leaders of the army to avoid reprisals and other human rights violations, agree to a cease-fire, provide full access to the U.N. and humanitarian agencies and cooperate with a U.N. investigation into reports of such violations.
The International Organization for Migration says a further 106,000 people are displaced around the disputed border region of Abyei, to the southwest of Kadugli.
Humanitarian agencies working in the region warned that delivering aid will become significantly harder once the rainy season starts, as many roads and airstrips will become unusable.
Associated Press writers Frank Jordans in Geneva and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.