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3 Jun, 2019 12:59

Sudanese security forces launch deadly raid on camping protesters, at least 13 killed – reports

Sudanese security forces launch deadly raid on camping protesters, at least 13 killed – reports

Sudan’s military has used live ammunition to disperse protesters in the capital, Khartoum, according to reports. A medical association close to the protesters said that at least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured.

Sudan has been ruled by the Transitional Military Council since the ousting of authoritarian president Omar al-Bashir in April. The crackdown comes as participants in a long-running sit-in outside the army’s HQ have been demanding democratic reforms and for generals to hand over power.

On Monday, security forces started an operation to clear protesters from the camp. There have been reports of gunfire and explosions heard in the centre of Khartoum and neighbouring city Omdurman. Videos by Arab media and on social media show people fleeing the site of the sit-in. The central committee of Sudanese doctors, which confirmed the deaths of protesters, accused the military council of firing live bullets at people. The council has dismissed the accusation, saying the security forces had targeted criminals.

News of the attack caused sporadic unrest in the capital, with some protesters building barricades made of rocks and burning tyres. Roads, as well as one of the bridges connecting Khartoum and Omdurman, have reportedly been blocked.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, the group that initiated nationwide protests last December, has called on people to “go out to the streets” and “build barricades” while emphasizing the peaceful nature of the protest. “We call for continued struggle with full civil disobedience until the fall of” the Transitional Military Council, the group’s statement says.

The protesters and Sudan’s army chiefs have been stuck in a deadlocked negotiation over who should govern in a transitional period. The military said it would let protesters form a government but insists on maintaining authority during an interim period which is opposed by protesters.

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