Southern Sudanese are voting for the third straight day in a week-long referendum, amid heightened tension along the north-south border.
Southerners flocked to the polls and waited in long lines outside the main stations to cast their votes on Tuesday, the third day of the week-long referendum on secession of the south, AFP reported.
Polling stations in Juba, the southern capital, opened at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT), among speculation that the lengthy process would proceed smoothly and peacefully.
The Sudanese referendum commission said 20 percent of registered southerners, about 750,000 people, cast their ballots on Sunday, the opening day of the poll.
Meanwhile, in the disputed border region of Abyei, clashes between police and rebel groups have left at least 60 people, including 20 policemen, dead over the past three days.
Almost four million southerners have registered to vote, hoping the referendum will grant them secession of the north.
The referendum is part of a peace agreement that ended decades of conflict between northern and southern Sudan in 2005.