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Death toll from Thursday Sudan protests rises to 3

An image grab taken from AFP TV on January 17, 2019, shows people chanting and shouting during a protest calling for the resignation of the Sudanese President in the capital Khartoum. – Sudanese police fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters marching towards the presidential palace demanding President Omar al-Bashir’s resignation. Protesters chanting “Freedom, peace, justice” gathered in central Khartoum and began their march but riot police quickly confronted them with tear gas, witnesses told AFP. (Photo by – / various sources / AFP)

A group organising anti-government rallies across Sudan said Friday that three people died in protests in Khartoum a day earlier, raising the toll as crowds gathered for the funeral of one of the victims.

Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since they first erupted on December 19 after a government decision to raise the price of bread.

The rallies have since escalated into broader demonstrations against President Omar al-Bashir’s three decades of iron-fisted rule and triggered clashes with the security forces.

Late on Thursday a doctors committee linked to the association spearheading the protest said a child and doctor were killed during protests in the capital.

Mohamed al-Asbat, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association organising the rallies, told AFP from Paris that a third person had also died.

Sudanese officials have not confirmed the three deaths and earlier put the overall toll from the violence since December at 24.

Rights group Amnesty International last week said over 40 people have been killed in the unrest and more than 1,000 arrested.

The doctors committee said the child and medic were killed Thursday by “live ammunition” but did not specify who had fired the shots. It said other people had sustained gunshot wounds.

The two deaths were confirmed to AFP by relatives of the victims.

A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

On Friday, crowds of people gathered for the funeral of the third victim in the capital’s Buri district, witnesses said.

At least three people at the event told AFP they were attending the funeral.

A witness said that mourners attacked a police car that arrived at the scene.

“The police had to leave the vehicle and flee,” the witness said.

Riot police on Thursday broke up a march of hundreds of people on the presidential palace in Khartoum chanting “freedom, peace, justice”, witnesses said.

People also took to the streets in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, in the provincial town of Gadaref and in the agricultural hub of Atbara, where the first protests broke out on December 19.

Later on Thursday, residents of Buri staged a separate demonstration, witnesses said, adding that there were clashes between them and riot police.

The protests come as Sudan suffers from a chronic shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation that has more than doubled the cost of food and medicines.

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Omar al-BashirSudan
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