Eleven killed in Sudan protests including six ‘state forces’ – government spokesman

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Eleven people were killed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday, including six members of “state forces”, the government’s spokesman said on Wednesday, as protesters pushed for an end to President Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule.

Uniformed personnel from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) twice tried to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters camped outside the Defence Ministry, the minister said, citing a report by the Khartoum state police chief.

But government soldiers guarding the compound came out both times to protect the demonstrators, firing shots in the air and deploying troops around the area.

The protests are the most sustained challenge Bashir has faced in his three decades in power.

The Defence Ministry is in a compound that also houses Bashir’s residence and the NISS headquarters.

The government spokesman and Information Minister Hassan Ismail said the Khartoum state police chief had delivered a report stating that 11 people had died in “incidents yesterday (Tuesday), including six members of the regular forces”. He gave no further details on how they died.

Ismail also quoted the police chief as saying the authorities had foiled a “criminal plot” to burn down some police stations in some parts of the capital.

NISS warned in a statement that it had detected “negative developments” towards vandalism, theft and terrorising innocent people and said it was ready to act.

“The service calls on honourable citizens to be careful of attempts to drag the country towards a complete security breakdown,” the statement said.

It added that it was able to “rein in the unruly elements through good advice or by force within the limits of the law”.

The head of the main opposition Umma Party, Sadiq al-Mahdi, said on Tuesday that around 20 people have been killed and dozens wounded in dawn attacks on the sit-in outside the defence ministry since it began on Saturday.

Demonstrators salute soldiers during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan April 10, 2019 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. TWITTER/@THAWRAGYSD/via REUTERS

DANCING, SINGING

Soldiers were heavily deployed around a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry on Wednesday, as several thousand protesters danced, sang and chanted slogans calling on Bashir to step down.

Some watched soccer matches on giant television screens mounted on special trucks.

The demonstrators have been camped outside the compound since Saturday in an escalation of protests that have shaken Sudan since December.

Sudan’s Health Ministry reported that Khartoum hospitals had treated 72 cases of people suffering from tear gas and 16 minor injuries. First aid vehicles were stationed near the protest site to deal with emergency cases, it said.

There were no reports of attempts to disperse the protests on Wednesday. The sit-in area had expanded slightly, with hundreds of people entering and leaving despite temperatures rising above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), a Reuters witness said. Some people blocked streets to the east of the compound with stones.

Protesters chanted “Fall, that’s all!”, “The people want to build a new Sudan”, and “Our army protects us”.

Military trucks and troops were deployed around the compound, stopping cars from entering the area. Police and NISS forces appeared not to be present.

“With the army’s presence, we feel safe. The army is protecting us and we will continue the sit-in until the regime falls,” said Ayman Abdullah, a 23-year-old engineering graduate taking part in the sit-in.

Videos posted by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, the main protest organiser, and others on social media showed demonstrators dancing, singing and chanting slogans.

A video shared by the opposition Sudanese Congress Party showed a large group of protesters marching towards the sit-in and cheering with a massive Sudanese flag draped over them.

Slideshow (3 Images)

Since Dec. 19, Sudan has been rocked by persistent protests sparked by the government’s attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis including fuel and cash shortages.

Opposition figures have called for the military to help negotiate an end to Bashir’s nearly three decades in power and a transition to democracy.

Writing by Aidan Lewis and Sami Aboudi Editing by Yousef Saba and Hugh Lawson

Source

more recommended stories

  • Japanese police officer stabbed in possible targeted attack – NHK

    TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese police.

  • Magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes Kermadec Islands in South Pacific: warning center

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A 7.4 magnitude.

  • Iran summons UK envoy over ‘unfounded’ tanker accusations

    FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker is.

  • Jailed British-Iranian aid worker in Iran starts hunger strike – husband

    LONDON (Reuters) – A British-Iranian aid.

  • State sponsor behind May tanker attacks, says UAE minister

    FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Foreign.

  • Russia’s Putin gives China’s Xi ice cream on his 66th birthday

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) toasts.

  • Hong Kong media say controversial extradition bill may be suspended

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • Indian migrant girl, 6, died in Arizona desert as mother sought water

    (Reuters) – A six-year-old girl from.

  • U.S. and Gulf allies face tough task protecting oil shipping lanes

    DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States.

  • Migrants rush to enter Mexico ahead of security crackdown demanded by Trump

    CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico (Reuters) – Central.

  • French, Italian shipbuilders forge naval alliance

    PARIS (Reuters) – France and Italy.

  • Oman following Yemen escalation with ‘great concern’ – Omani media

    FILE PHOTO: Saudi security officers are.

  • U.S. blames Iran for tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman, Iran rejects assertion

    DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States.

  • Democrats – Trump comments give green light to foreign election meddling

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic lawmakers accused.

  • White House spokeswoman Sanders leaving job at end of month

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House spokeswoman.

  • Two tankers struck in suspected attacks in Gulf of Oman – sources

    DUBAI (Reuters) – Two tankers were.

  • Hong Kong shuts government offices, security tight after violent protests

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • Macri’s key rivals in Argentina presidential election strike alliance with centrist

    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The main.

  • Italy’s Salvini threatens to use strict new law on German NGO boat

    ROME (Reuters) – Italian Interior Minister.

  • Austria moves towards September 29 election as parliament draws towards close

    FILE PHOTO: Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian.

  • Missing British hiker found dead in New Zealand – police

    WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The body of.

  • Trump and Kim one year on: A ‘beautiful letter’, stalled diplomacy

    SEOUL (Reuters) – A year after.

  • Thousands of protesters paralyse Hong Kong’s financial hub over extradition bill

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chaotic scenes.

  • Protests abating, Macron sends PM to map out exit from reform ‘death valley’

    PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron.

  • Uganda confirms first Ebola case during current outbreak, a Congolese child – WHO

    GENEVA/KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda has confirmed.

  • Botswana’s High Court decriminalises homosexuality

    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Botswana decriminalised homosexuality.

  • Kazakh activists call for more protests over presidential vote

    ALMATY (Reuters) – Anti-government activists called.

  • Italy’s coalition to work to avert EU disciplinary action over budget – PM’s office

    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s coalition leaders.

  • Japan PM Abe to meet Iran’s Khamenei, Rouhani this week

    TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo.

  • Turkish F-35 pilots no longer flying at U.S. base – Pentagon

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Training by Turkish.

  • U.S. House Democrats to get some Mueller evidence, Trump calls witness ‘sleazebag’

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats and.

  • Defying law, Indian farm group says it planted unapproved GM cotton seeds

    MUMBAI (Reuters) – An Indian farm.