Sudanese civilians flee fighting in an U.N. base in the northeastern town of Malakal on February 18, 2016, where gunmen opened fire on civilians
Justin Lynch—AFP/Getty Images
February 18, 2016 11:50 PM EST

An attack killed 18 people at a United Nations base that shelters 47,000 displaced people in South Sudan, medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (also known as MSF) reported Thursday.

Two of those killed were local MSF staff who were attacked in their homes.

The fighting in the Malakal compound involved small arms, machetes and other weapons, according to a Thursday statement from the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, which reported that seven people had died and around 40 were injured. The statement said U.N. Peacekeepers had fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Violence reportedly erupted Wednesday night between ethnic Dinka and Shilluk communities, prompting a warning from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that all parties avoid escalating inter-communal tensions.

Civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 after a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar. The conflict, which is divided along ethnic lines, has killed more than 50,000 of people and displaced over 1.6 million, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

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