File picture: Gale Julius/Xinhua

Juba - At least 27 people have been killed and 11 injured in fresh clashes over pastureland in South Sudan.

The land disputes around Epoto, east of the capital, Juba, broke out on Tuesday and continued until Wednesday, the information minister of Torit state told dpa by phone.

The fighting broke out over control of a source of water and land for grazing, according to John Atari.

Violent land dispute and cattle theft among herders and farmers is not uncommon in civil war-torn South Sudan; civilians are often heavily armed.

Just last week, 17 people died fighting for pastureland in the same state, Atari said. A local administrator in Torit reported 18 dead on Sunday.

Last year, South Sudan declared a state of emergency in some parts of the country to curb cattle raiding and tribal clashes within pastoral communities. Cattle are a symbol of wealth and a means of trade in the region.