Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sudan forces fire tear gas as protesters head to presidential palace

Sudan forces fire tear gas as protesters head to presidential palace

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Protesters opposed to military rule reached near the presidential palace in the Sudanese capital on Saturday for the second time in a week, television images showed, despite heavy tear gas and a communications blackout.

A Reuters witness said security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds on a tenth day of major demonstrations since an Oct. 25 coup.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said 178 people were injured during Saturday's protest, with eight caused by live bullets.

In separate statements, the committee said security forces entered Khartoum Hospital and Port Sudan Hospital.

Protests against the coup have continued even after Abdallah Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister last month. The demonstrators have demanded that the military play no role in government during a transition to free elections.

A week ago, demonstrators begin a sit-in at the gates of the palace before being dispersed. But on Saturday they were met with by security forces and turned back.

Internet services were disrupted in the capital, and residents were unable to make or receive phone calls, the witnesses said, while soldiers and Rapid Support Forces blocked roads leading to bridges linking Khartoum with Omdurman, its sister city across the Nile.

Service began to return for at least some users late on Saturday.

Some people managed to post images on social media showing protests in several other cities, including Madani and Atbara.

In Omdurman, security forces fired tear gas at protesters near a bridge connecting the city to central Khartoum, another Reuters witness said.