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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Sudanese protesters tear-gassed in fresh anti-government demonstrations

Heavy security deployed following opposition call for protests after Friday prayers

Demonstrators march in Khartoum on December 25, 2018 as Sudanese cities see recurring protests over economic conditions. Reuters
Demonstrators march in Khartoum on December 25, 2018 as Sudanese cities see recurring protests over economic conditions. Reuters

Sudanese security forces fired tear gas to dispel fresh anti-government protests in the capital Khartoum and other cities on Friday.

Protests after midday prayers were reported in Omdurman, El Sahafa, Port Sudan, Eldinder Town, Atbara, Madani and several other cities.

In Omdurman, Khartoum's twin city on the west bank of the Nile, police fired tear gas on hundreds of worshippers who staged a protest outside a mosque.

Tear gas was also used in the capital, with large numbers of security forces and vehicles deployed during the prayer time.

Among those arrested was the leading opposition figure, Omar el-Digeir, who is the head of the Sudanese Congress Party.

Worshippers also marched in the streets of the eastern city of Atbara, where the protests began on December 19 after the government raised the price of a loaf from one Sudanese pound to three.

With at least 19 people killed in the unrest, interior minister Ahmed Bilal Othman warned protesters against violence.

The government announced the latest death toll on Thursday night, saying most of the dead were killed during "incidents of looting" and that they included two members of the security forces. Another 219 people were injured.

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Opposition groups have said they plan to continue the protests, with anger over the state of the economy directed at President Omar Al Bashir.

Protesters in Atbara chanted "the people want to bring down the regime", the main slogan of the Arab region uprisings in 2011.

Sudan is facing an foreign exchange crisis and inflation is running at 70 per cent. The Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages of bread and fuel are a regular occurrence.

The economy was dealt a blow by the secession of South Sudan in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output.

Updated: December 29, 2018 05:03 AM

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