At least seven killed, dozens injured as protesters descend on Khartoum presidential palace

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Five protesters were killed on Sunday during mass demonstrations that rocked the country as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals. (AFP)
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Sudanese protesters shout slogans as they march during a demonstration against the military council, in Khartoum, Sudan, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP)
Updated 03 July 2019

At least seven killed, dozens injured as protesters descend on Khartoum presidential palace

  • Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Sudan’s capital
  • The demonstrations came amid a weeks-long standoff between the ruling military council and protest leaders

KHARTOUM: At least seven protesters were killed on Sunday, and dozens others injured, during mass demonstrations that rocked the country as tens of thousands of people protested against the ruling generals, doctors' committee linked to the protest movement said.

"The death of four martyrs in the city of Omdurman on the road of our victorious revolution brings the number of martyrs to five" in Sunday's protests, the committee said, after it reported earlier that a protester was shot dead in the town of Atbara.

"There are several seriously wounded by the bullets of the military council militias in hospitals of the capital and the provinces," it added.

It came as a protester's group called for a march on Sudan’s presidential palace despite a heavy security deployment as thousands of demonstrators rallied against the generals in a mass rally demanding civilian rule.

“We call on our revolutionary people in the capital to go to the republican palace... to seek justice for the martyrs and for an unconditional transfer of power to civilians,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said in a statement on Twitter.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Sudan’s capital and elsewhere in the country to reiterate their call for civilian rule, nearly three months after the army forced out the autocrat Omar Al-Bashir.

The demonstrations came amid a weeks-long standoff between the ruling military council and protest leaders. Talks between the two sides over a power-sharing agreement collapsed earlier this month when security forces violently broke up a protest camp in Khartoum.

The marches, the first since the June 3 crackdown, also mark the 30th anniversary of the coup that brought Al-Bashir to power in 1989, toppling Sudan's last elected government. The military removed Al-Bashir in April amid mass protests against his rule.

The crowds gathered at several points across the capital and its sister city of Omdurman before marching toward the homes of those killed since the uprising began.

"This is a very important day for the Sudanese people," protester Hamdi Karamallah said.

The protest movement erupted in December, triggered by an economic crisis. The protesters remained in the streets after al-Bashir was overthrown and jailed, fearing that the military would cling to power or preserve much of his regime.

On Sunday, protesters chanted anti-military slogans like "Burhan's council, just fall", according to video clips circulated online. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan is head of the military council.

Video clips showed protesters running away from security forces in the streets of Khartoum and seeking shelter from clouds of tear gas.

On a highway leading to Khartoum's international airport, a convoy of troops and riot police allowed some demonstrators to pass through as they headed toward the house of a protester who was killed earlier this month.


Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

Updated 17 November 2019

Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

  • Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad
  • More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Iraqi protesters regained control of a third bridge leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, taking further ground in the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades.
Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the Green Zone housing government ministry and embassies.
Protesters made a barricade of old cabinets, trash cans and metal sheeting on the bridge while security forces took positions behind blast walls installed to prevent protesters from crossing to the other side. Protesters who choked on the tear gas were evacuated by tuk-tuk, a Reuters cameraman said.
On Saturday, Iraqi demonstrators reoccupied part of adjacent Sinak Bridge and a nearby tall building in Baghdad that security forces had pushed them away from a week before. They have held a third bridge, Jamhuriya, since October 25.
More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
In Basra in the south, dozens of protesters burned tires and briefly blocked some roads on Sunday, before police managed to restore control and reopen them, police said.
The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Islamic State in 2017.