Medical group says five killed in Sudan anti-coup protests

 Medical group says five killed in Sudan anti-coup protests

Five demonstrators were killed in pro-democracy protests in Sudan on Saturday, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.

The group said four protesters died of gunshot wounds, and a fifth from choking on tear gas during clashes with security forces.

Tens of thousands took to the streets for mass anti-coup protests in cities and towns across the country.

Police denied using live wounds, saying they had only used “minimum force”.

State television reported that 39 police were “severely wounded” in the clashes.

The deadly violence comes days after a military-led ruling council was announced.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was named as head of the council on Thursday. The coup leader had already dissolved the civilian arm of the government’s power-sharing agreement, arrested civilian leaders, and declared a state of emergency last month.

The military’s takeover on 25 October has drawn international condemnation.

Protesters have taken to the streets regularly since, demanding the military government step back and allow a peaceful transition to civilian rule.

Saturday’s protests went ahead in spite of a heavy security presence. Demonstrations were also held in solidarity abroad, including in Paris and Berlin.

AFP reports that protesters in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum were heard chanting: “No, no to military rule” and “down with the entire council”.

Reports of the five deaths were carried on the Facebook page of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which also reported a “large number of people” had been hurt.

The medics added that security forces had stormed a hospital in the city of Omdurman and detained several injured people.

In a tweet after the news broke, the US embassy in Khartoum condemned what it described as “excessive use of force” against citizens demonstrating “for freedom and democracy”.