Sudan security forces fire stun grenades to disperse protesters

Sudan security forces fire stun grenades to disperse protesters

Khartoum - At least 19 people have died during the protests, including two military personnel, according to official figures.



By Reuters

Published: Fri 28 Dec 2018, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 28 Dec 2018, 11:28 PM

Sudanese security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades on Friday at 300-400 chanting worshippers as they left a mosque near the capital, a witness said, after a call for widespread anti-government protests by opposition groups.
Activists had urged protesters to gather in large numbers following Friday's prayers. Civil society groups said authorities arrested nine opposition figures on Thursday evening ahead of the planned demonstrations.
The group in Omdurman, a town near Khartoum, was fired upon as people exited the mosque chanting "peaceful, peaceful," the witness said. Around 30 SUVs belonging to the security forces had surrounded the square outside the building before noon prayers.
Sudan has been rocked by more than a week of anti-government protests sparked by rising prices, shortages of basic commodities and a cash crisis.
At least 19 people have died during the protests, including two military personnel, according to official figures. Amnesty International said on Tuesday at least 37 had died.
The head of the media office at the National Intelligence and Security Service denied knowledge of Thursday's arrests.
A committee of professional organisations involved in the protests said in a statement that authorities had raided a meeting of opposition leaders in Khartoum.
The nine people they had detained included Siddiq Youssef, a senior leader of Sudan's Communist Party, as well as leaders from the Ba'ath and Nasserist parties, the statement said.
Fourteen leaders of one of Sudan's two main opposition groupings were detained last Saturday and then released hours later.
Sudan has been gripped by a deep economic crisis that began in 2011 after the southern half of the country voted to secede, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output, and has been aggravated by years of overspending and mismanagement.
Opposition groups blame President Omar Al Bashir for the mismanagement.


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