South Sudan president Kiir says 'attempted coup' defeated
16 December 2013, 14:15
Juba - South Sudan's president said Monday he had defeated a coup attempt by a political rival following a night of fighting in the capital Juba.
"This was an attempted coup," President Salva Kiir told reporters.
He also said in a statement that the "government is in full control of the security situation in Juba. The attackers fled and your forces are pursuing them."
He also said an overnight curfew would be imposed from 6pm Monday to 6am Tuesday, and then remain in force until further notice.
The president blamed the fighting on "a group of soldiers allied to the former vice president Riek Machar and his group".
Machar leads a dissident group within South Sudan's ruling party -- the the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) -- and was sacked as vice-president in July.
South Sudan won its independence in 2011 after its people voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to split from the north and form a new nation.