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Casualties mount as Sudanese forces crack down on anti-coup protests

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Other political parties and movements joined the call

The violence was reported in the capital Khartoum and other cities as thousands of pro-democracy protesters yet again took to the streets across Sudan to rally against the military’s takeover last month. Protests were held two days after coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan reappointed himself as head of the Sovereign Council, Sudan‘s interim governing body. (AFP) Sudanese security forces have killed at least five protesters during mass rallies against last month's military coup.

Four protesters were killed from gunshots and one from a tear gas canister in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman on Saturday, according to Sudan Doctors Committee.

Several others were wounded, including with gunshots, it said in a statement.

Military, police and paramilitary forces were deployed in large numbers in Khartoum and sealed off bridges connecting the capital to neighbouring cities.

They also blocked roads leading to the army headquarters in Khartoum, the site of a mass sit-in protest in 2019 that led to the ouster of former president Omar al Bashir, according to media reports.

“No, no to military rule”, “Civilian (rule) is the people's choice”, and “Down with the entire council”, the protesters in southern Khartoum shouted.

Demonstrations were held two days after top general Abdel Fattah al Burhan named himself as the head of a new ruling Sovereign Council .

Thursday’s move angered the pro-democracy alliance and frustrated the US and other countries that have urged the generals to reverse their coup .

The military's October 25 takeover drew widespread international condemnation and sparked street demonstrations.

READ MORE:  Sudan’s military urged to release anti-coup detainees

In light of tomorrow’s demonstrations in #Sudan I once again call upon the security forces to exercise utmost restraint and respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

— Volker Perthes (@volkerperthes) November 12, 2021 UN calls for restraint

The United Nations called on Sudanese security forces to refrain from violence ahead of Saturday's protests.

“In light of tomorrow's demonstrations in #Sudan I once again call upon the security forces to exercise utmost restraint and respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,” said UN Special Representative for Sudan Volker Perthes.

Saturday’s protests were called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association and the so-called Resistance Committees. 

Both groups were primary forces behind a popular the uprising against al Bashir in April 2019.

Other political parties and movements joined the call.

The committees have called for multiple protests since the coup and mobilised crowds via text messages as Sudan has largely remained under a rigorous internet outage with phone lines intermittently disrupted.

But despite the efforts, “civilian opposition to the coup has been diffuse and fragmented”, Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group said in a report last week.

A crackdown on demonstrations so far has left dead at least 15 people, according to an independent union of medics, leading to punitive measures by the international community.

Ongoing mediation efforts seek to find a way out of the crisis.

READ MORE: Sudan protest movement rejects power-sharing agreement with military

Source: TRTWorld and agencies