U.N. warns that South Sudan violence could spread

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said the violence in South Sudan that has claimed hundreds of lives in recent days could be spreading to other parts of Africa's youngest country.

"This is a political crisis and urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue," he told reporters. "There is a risk of this violence spreading to other states (in South Sudan) as we have already seen some signs of this."

Fighting between South Sudanese soldiers spread to the flashpoint town of Bor on Wednesday, raising fears of a broader civil conflict. The United Nations has received reports from local sources that as many as 500 people have been killed during the latest upsurge in violence in South Sudan.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols)