5 killed during mass demonstrations in Sudan

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At least five protesters were killed on Saturday during mass demonstrations in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and other cities, the health ministry in the dissolved Sudanese government announced.

Khartoum and other cities on Saturday witnessed huge demonstrations protesting measures recently adopted by the Sudanese army commander, including dissolving the government and appointing a new sovereign council.

In Khartoum, the demonstration mainly took place in Street 60, where citizens from across the city gathered hoping to make their voices heard.

As China Central Television (CCTV) tried to access Street 60, sporadic fires could be seen on some roads leading there, with many of them littered with rocks used as roadblocks. The sound of tear gas, which demonstrators said were fired by the security forces, could also be heard.

Once again, the protesters failed to reach central Khartoum, which includes vital government utilities such as the government headquarters, the Republican Palace and the Army Command, due to the closure of the bridges linking the three cities and the intensive security presence on main roads.

The protesters raised banners rejecting the measures taken by the General Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, calling for civilian rule, and demanding the restoration of the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

“Five protesters were killed due to use of live ammunition and suffocation with tear gas,” the health ministry in the dissolved Sudanese government said in a statement.

The Sudanese police, for its part, said in a statement on Saturday that the demonstrations were of a peaceful nature, but quickly “deviated from their course.”

It said that 39 policemen were seriously injured during the confrontations with the protesters.

The Sudanese police further said many of its departments were attacked by protesters, stressing that the police forces did not shoot gunfire while dealing with the protesters and that they use the minimum force.

Sudan has been suffering from a political crisis after Al-Burhan declared a state of emergency on October 25 and dissolved the sovereign council and government.