Sudan protests turn deadly as demonstrators clash with police

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
People protesting against increases in the price of bread and fuel lit fires in Atbara, Sudan

Eight demonstrators have been killed in clashes with armed police in northern and eastern Sudan, officials say.

Six people died in anti-government protests in the eastern town of Gedaref in al-Qadarif state, leading to a state of emergency and an overnight curfew.

Two others were killed in the northern town of Atbara, in River Nile State, local media reported on Thursday.

Protests against bread and fuel price rises were also dispersed in the capital, Khartoum, and other towns.

The demonstrations began on Wednesday in Atbara, Ed-Damar and Berber, where Sudanese police fired tear gas to break up large crowds of protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

The disturbances later became violent and several people were reportedly shot.

Footage on social media appeared to show protesters attacking the ruling party's offices in Atbara, setting them alight.

Witnesses said that in some areas, the military was not intervening and even appeared to be siding with the demonstrators.

One of those killed in clashes with security forces in al-Qadarif was a university student.

"The situation in al-Qadarif has become dangerous and the protests have developed to include fires and theft and it's now out of control," lawmaker Mubarak al-Nur told reporters on Thursday.

Sudan's security forces have previously used deadly force to break up protests over price increases.

The Sudanese government is now expected to remove a raft of subsidies, leading to further rises.

Economic conditions in Sudan have deteriorated in recent months, despite the lifting of longstanding US sanctions, with inflation at almost 70%.

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