UN calls on Sudan to investigate protest deaths

United Nations' Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during the Doha Forum in the Qatari capital on December 16, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 29 December 2018
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UN calls on Sudan to investigate protest deaths

  • Opposition groups have called for more anti-government rallies to be held over the next few days

UNITED NATIONS, United States: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on authorities in Sudan to investigate deaths during violent protests in Khartoum and other cities.
At least 19 people have been killed since December 19 during protests sparked by Khartoum’s decision to hike the price of bread, according to the government.
Guterres “appeals for calm and restraint and calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the deaths and violence,” the UN spokesman said in a statement.
The UN chief is “following with concern” developments in Sudan and “emphasizes the need to safeguard freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Sudanese police fired tear gas at worshippers who staged demonstrations after Friday prayers in several cities, including Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman on the west bank of the Nile, witnesses said.
Photographs posted by activists on social media showed thick plumes of smoke rising from neighborhoods in Khartoum as protesters burned garbage and tires.
Opposition groups have called for more anti-government rallies to be held over the next few days.
Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation, despite the US decision to lift an economic embargo in October 2017.


Netanyahu to cut US trip short after rocket attack near Tel Aviv

Updated 18 min 23 sec ago
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Netanyahu to cut US trip short after rocket attack near Tel Aviv

  • Netanyahu said the incident will evoke a strong Israeli reaction
  • Palestinian rockets rarely reach an area at that distance from Gaza

MISHMERET/JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he is to cut short his trip to the United States after a rocket attack near Tel Aviv.

“In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the US,” Netanyahu said, calling the attack a heinous crime that would draw a strong Israeli response.

He said he would meet with President Donald Trump in the coming hours and then fly back immediately.

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in a community north of Tel Aviv and caused it to catch fire, wounding seven Israelis, authorities and medics said.

Israel’s army said the rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas, raising the risk of another escalation between the two sides just ahead of April 9 Israeli elections.

The house hit was located in the community of Mishmeret, police said. Medics said they were treating one Israeli with moderate wounds and four others injured lightly.

Mishmeret is more than 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave at that distance is rare.

Monday’s incident comes after two rockets were fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv — also rare — on March 14.

No damage or injuries were caused, but Israel responded to that and further rocket fire by hitting what it said were around 100 Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip.

Four Palestinians were reported wounded in those strikes.

Both Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad denied they were behind the March 14 rocket fire toward Tel Aviv, raising the possibility they were launched by fringe groups.

Israel’s military said they were launched by Hamas, but later there were Israeli media reports that the army’s preliminary assessment was that they had been fired by mistake during maintenance work.

The reports were a sign that Israel was seeking to calm tensions. The military had refused to comment on the reports at the time.

Monday’s rocket comes just days ahead of the March 30 one-year anniversary of Palestinian protests and clashes along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel.

An informal truce between Hamas and Israel had led to relative calm along the border of the blockaded strip, but recent weeks have seen another uptick in violence.