Protests rage on across Sudan as doctor and child are killed in violence

The protests have escalated into nationwide anti-government demonstrations that experts say pose the biggest challenge to Bashir since he took power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989. (File/AP)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Protests rage on across Sudan as doctor and child are killed in violence

  • Rights group Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff
  • Bashir has remained steadfast in rejecting calls for him to resign

KHARTOUM: A doctor and a child were killed on Thursday as protests continued to rock the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and cities across the troubled country.

Police had earlier fired tear gas at protesters marching towards the presidential palace, witnesses said, during a demonstration in the capital to demand the resignation of President Omar Al-Bashir.

Demonstrators chanting "Freedom, peace, justice" gathered in central Khartoum and began their march but riot police quickly confronted them with tear gas, the witnesses told AFP.

Anti-government protests that erupted across Sudan on December 19, after the government raised the price of bread, have turned into daily nationwide demonstrations against Bashir's three decades of rule.

Sudan faced calls from Western powers at the UN Security Council on Thursday to respect the rights of anti-government demonstrators and investigate violence that has left at least 24 dead.
The council was meeting to discuss the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region but the United States, France, Britain and others raised serious concerns about the protest violence.
Britain slammed as "unacceptable" the use of deadly force by Sudanese security troops against the demonstrators and called for those responsible for the deaths of protesters to be held accountable.
"Security forces' use of lethal force and arbitrary detentions in response to peaceful protests is unacceptable and it should stop," said British Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen.
"We are appalled at reports that security forces have used tear gas and violence within hospitals against those being treated and against doctors providing medical assistance."

Protests were also held in the Red Sea town of Port Sudan and in Gadaref, witnesses told AFP by telephone, after organisers called for simultaneous demonstrations in 11 cities apart from Khartoum.

Ahead of the planned march, authorities had reinforced security forces in the capital's key areas.

An AFP journalist saw security personnel, many in plainclothes, stationed across the downtown area of Khartoum and along the expected route of Thursday's march.

Several army vehicles mounted with machineguns were stationed outside the palace.

Little traffic was seen at what is usually the height of the morning rush-hour as people stayed off the streets.

Officials say at least 24 people have died in the protests, but human rights group have put the death toll higher.

Amnesty International said last week that more than 40 people had been killed and more than 1,000 arrested.

Human Rights Watch said the dead did include children and medical staff.


Israel demolishes home of Palestinian charged with killing

Updated 1 min 56 sec ago
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Israel demolishes home of Palestinian charged with killing

HEBRON, West Bank: The Israeli military has demolished the family home of a Palestinian charged with the killing of a 19-year-old Israeli woman.
Israeli forces bulldozed two apartments belonging to the father of Arafat Erfayieh in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday.
Erfaiyeh was arrested and charged in February with the killing of Ori Ansbacher, whose slain body was found in a West Bank forest near Jerusalem.
Her brutal killing drew widespread media coverage in Israel, sparking calls for revenge from hard-line Jewish settlers. The Shin Bet security agency determined the act was politically motivated.
Israel often demolishes homes of alleged Palestinian assailants or their families, saying it deters future attacks. Human rights groups have long condemned such demolitions as a form of collective punishment banned by international law.