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Four protesting against military rule in Sudan shot dead, doctors say

Four protesting against military rule in Sudan shot dead, doctors say
December 31, 2021 Reuters

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese security forces shot dead four people during a crackdown on nationwide protests, a doctors' committee said, as tens of thousands of people marched against military rule.

Security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades as protesters marched through Khartoum and the neighbouring cities of Omdurman and Bahri towards the presidential palace, Reuters witnesses said.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said four protesters were shot dead by security forces, at least three of them in Omdurman.

Al Hadath TV quoted an adviser to military leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan as saying the military would not allow anyone to pull the country into chaos and that continued protests were a "physical, psychological, and mental drain on the country" and "would not achieve a political solution".

Thursday's protests is the 11th round of major demonstrations since an Oct. 25 coup which saw Abdallah Hamdok removed and then reinstated as prime minister. The demonstrators have demanded that the military play no role in government during a transition to free elections.

The Forces of Freedom and Change coalition said that security forces "used excessive repression" on Thursday and called on "regional and international communities and human rights organizations to condemn the coup."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter that he was troubled by reports of lethal force and the United States "stands with the people of Sudan, as they demand freedom, peace, and justice."

The UN Special Representative to Sudan, Volker Perthes, said that he was "deeply disturbed" by the deaths, adding that "all people have the right to express themselves peacefully; media have to report freely."

Security forces confronted the protesters about 2 km from the palace in the centre of the capital, a Reuters witness said.

Protesters continued facing tear gas in the city of Bahri past sundown near a blocked bridge connecting it to the capital, another Reuters witness said. Volleys of heavy tear gas followed protesters into neighbourhoods after being turned away from a bridge.