Five killed during anti-coup protests in Sudan, says medical group


Five Sudanese demonstrators were killed on Saturday and more than a dozen were injured when security forces used teargas and live bullets to break up a protest in Khartoum, according to a Sudanese doctors’ group.

Protesters defied a military shutdown of the city to call for a return to civilian rule as they continued to demonstrate against a military takeover of the government.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said four protesters died of gunshot wounds, and a fifth from choking on tear gas during clashes with security forces.

The deadly violence comes days after a military-led ruling council was announced as tens of thousands took to the streets for mass anti-coup protests in cities and towns across the country.

Police denied using live rounds, saying they had only used “minimum force” while state television reported that 39 police were “severely wounded” in the clashes.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was named as head of the council on Thursday. The coup leader had already dissolved the civilian arm of the government’s power-sharing agreement, arrested civilian leaders, and declared a state of emergency last month.

The military’s takeover on 25 October has drawn international condemnation.

Protesters have taken to the streets regularly since, demanding the military government step back and allow a peaceful transition to civilian rule.

Saturday’s protests went ahead in spite of a heavy security presence. Demonstrations were also held in solidarity abroad, including in Paris and Berlin.

AFP reports that protesters in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum were heard chanting: “No, no to military rule” and “down with the entire council”.

Reports of the five deaths were carried on the Facebook page of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which also reported a “large number of people” had been hurt.

The medics added that security forces had stormed a hospital in the city of Omdurman and detained several injured people.

In a tweet after the news broke, the US embassy in Khartoum condemned what it described as “excessive use of force” against citizens demonstrating “for freedom and democracy”. (Source: BBC)