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Tear gas fired at Sudan anti-coup protesters as thousands take to streets

A Sudanese demonstrator flashes the victory sign as he takes part in a rally to protest against last year's military coup, in the capital Khartoum, on January 30, 2022. (AFP)
A Sudanese demonstrator flashes the victory sign as he takes part in a rally to protest against last year's military coup, in the capital Khartoum, on January 30, 2022. (AFP)

Sudanese security forces fire tear gas in Khartoum at thousands protesting for civilian rule and against a military coup that took place last year, an AFP correspondent says.

Pro-democracy activists have upped calls for protests to restore a transition to civilian rule since the October 25 military takeover led by general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The coup, one of several in Sudan’s post-independence history, derailed a power-sharing arrangement between the army and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Today’s demonstrations are taking place in the capital Khartoum, the neighboring city of Omdurman, Gedaref state in the east, and the northern cities of Atbara and Dongola, according to witnesses.

Sudanese authorities warned protesters against heading toward Khartoum city center as security forces seal off streets leading to the presidential palace. But protesters in the capital converge in large numbers as they head towards the palace and police fire volleys of tear gas when they approach, the correspondent says.

In Omdurman, demonstrators are seen carrying the Sudanese flag and chanting “blood is the path to freedom,” while in Gedaref, protesters demand the military “go back to the barracks,” according to witnesses.

At least 78 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in the crackdown on anti-coup protests, according to an independent group of medics, while authorities have also rounded up hundreds of pro-democracy activists.

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