At least 29 civilians, including children have been killed in an attack by armed assailants in the disputed region of Abyei, the regional administrator said Wednesday.

The incident took place at Kolom Village of Alal County.

“This morning at around 7:10, gunmen came and attacked Kolom area. The attackers killed 29 civilians including 9 children,” Kuol Alor Kuol, the head of the Abyei Administrative Area told media.

He said 15 children were abducted by the attackers and that 18 civilians were injured.

Kuol described today’s incident as “horrific”, adding that the attackers were identified as members of the Misseriya tribe. “22 homes have been burnt by the attackers, so this is what had happened in Abyei,” Alor said.

The chief administrator has appealed to the United Nation Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) to scale up security measures to protect residents from attacks.

Misseriya leaders could not be reached for comment.

The oil-rich Abyei area inhabited by Misseriya Arab nomads in the north and Ngok Dinka people in the south is disputed between Sudan and South Sudan. Abyei is now under the administration of the UN interim security force.