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Sudan coup: Security forces kill four protesters as thousands rally across country

Dozens of protesters injured as security forces use live rounds on demonstrators in the city of Omdurman
Sudanese demonstrators carry posters of killed protesters as they protest in the capital Khartoum against the army's 25 October coup, on 30 December 2021.
Sudanese demonstrators carry photos of protesters killed in the capital, Khartoum (AFP)

Sudanese security forces shot and killed four protesters on Thursday in the city of Omdurman, medics have said, as tens of thousands of demonstrators across the country continued to rally against military rule, in defiance of a security lockdown.

Security forces used live rounds on protesters in Omdurman, twin city of the capital, Khartoum, wounding dozens in addition to the fatalities, medical sources reported.

"We call on doctors to come to the Arbain hospital in Omdurman because the putschists are using live rounds against protesters and preventing ambulances from reaching them," they said.

Their plea was posted on social media accounts belonging to Sudanese expats living abroad, after authorities in Khartoum severed domestic and international phone lines.

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Web monitoring group NetBlocks said mobile internet services were also cut.

Still, despite the restrictions, thousands of protesters faced tear gas, chanting "no to military rule" as they marched in rallies in several parts of Sudan, demanding a transition to a civilian government.

Earlier on Thursday, demonstrators reached within a few hundred metres of the presidential palace in Khartoum, the headquarters of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who seized power on 25 October.

Protesters carried photos of demonstrators that had been killed at the hands of the security forces.

Troops, police and paramilitary units launched multiple tear gas canisters into the crowd in Omdurman.

"The revolution continues," protesters shouted, beating drums and waving flags.

Security forces were deployed in strength across the capital, using shipping containers to block the Nile bridges that connect the capital with Omdurman and other suburbs, and authorities also installed new surveillance cameras on major thoroughfares ahead of Thursday's protests.

Witnesses reported similar anti-coup protests in Wad Madani, south of the capital, as well as in the cities of Kassala and Port Sudan in the east.

Pro-democracy activists have for more than two months kept up a campaign of street demonstrations against the military takeover.

The crackdown against the demonstrations has now seen at least 52 people killed in protest-related violence, according to the Doctors' Committee, which is part of the pro-democracy movement.

Burhan, who held civilian leader Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under unofficial house arrest for weeks, reinstated him on 21 November in a deal promising new elections in July 2023.

While Hamdok saw a surge in popularity when under house arrest, he has, following his deal with the military, been facing a popular backlash on the streets and among political groups who previously supported him.

"Signing with the military was a mistake from the start," one protester told AFP, accusing the generals of being "Bashir's men".

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