Scores die as Sudanese call on Omar al-Bashir to step down

Around 3,000 people, angered by a police crackdown, took to the streets

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The Independent Online

Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of Sudanese demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir after rights groups accused security forces of shooting dead at least 50 people in the worst unrest in Sudan’s central region for years.

Around 3,000 people, angered by a police crackdown on protests against the lifting of fuel subsidies, took to the streets after Friday prayers in Khartoum’s twin-city Omdurman across the Nile, shouting “Freedom, freedom” and “The people want the fall of the regime”.

Defying a massive security presence with army trucks parked on main streets, the crowd marched to the central market, holding up banners saying “No, no to price increases”.

More than 1,000 people also demonstrated in Khartoum’s Bahri district, a hot-spot of days of unrest, witnesses said. Hundreds also went out in another area of Omdurman and Khartoum as well as Wad Madani, south of the capital.

In Khartoum’s centre, there were army trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns.

Police say that battles with protesters killed 29 people, among them police officers. Sudanese opposition activists have put the death toll at over 100. But Amnesty International and the New York-based African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies said at least 50 people had been killed by gun shots to the chest or head.