On December 19 the SPLA issued a statement that claimed its forces fought a major battle on December 4 against a combined force consisting of the Sudanese Army and pro-Khartoum militias. The SPLA statement said 254 pro-government troops died in the battle. The battle took place near Nhial Diu. The SPLA statement identified on of the militias as being the Sudan People's Democratic Front (SPDF). On December 22 an SPDF spokesman denied that the SPDF participated in the December 4 battle.