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Minister of Cooperatives and Rural Development in south Sudan government Jimmy Lemi was shot dead in his office in Juba, capital of south Sudan, on Wednesday, a local correspondent told Xinhua.

An armed man stormed into the minister’s office and shot him and his bodyguard dead, the correspondent said.

He added that preliminary information indicated that the attacker, who is a relative of the murdered minister, worked as a driver for him in the ministry.

No motive was immediately clear for the attack, which happened just days after the referendum results confirmed that the oil-rich south Sudan will become Africa’s newest independent state.

The final results of southern Sudan’s independence referendum held last month were announced Monday, with over 98 percent of southerners voting for secession.

The week-long referendum, which started on Jan. 9, was the core of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the north and the south in 2005 to end their two-decade civil war. Xinhua

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