Death toll from Sudan protests

by Sarah Boseley

BBC News, London

Sudanese medics say they have found 10 bodies of anti-coup protesters in Khartoum, some of them killed by gunfire. They say the bodies were found in the Zuhour neighbourhood on the south-western outskirts of the city after Friday prayers. “These were peaceful protesters, the victims were targeted because they took to the streets,” said Dr Madiha Osman, a student at the University of Khartoum, which has also protested against the crisis. Thousands of Sudanese have taken to the streets in the past two days. Rallies began on Wednesday after President Omar al-Bashir said he would raise fuel prices – the latest move in his efforts to curb the worst inflation in modern Sudanese history. The BBC’s Thomas Rivers, who is in Khartoum, says the protest movement appears largely spontaneous. HEAVY ASSAULT, MINOR INJURIES A member of Sudan’s government-appointed human rights monitoring group, the National Commission of Human Rights, told the BBC that the four-member group had visited the town of Atbara, where 25 people were reported killed by government security forces. “The bodies showed up after Friday prayers at the hospital, they were all civilians,” our commission member told the BBC, preferring not to be named. “It is difficult to say whether all these deaths were caused by the security forces or snipers.” Meanwhile, the BBC’s Amina Abdallah, in Nyala, Darfur, says snipers have opened fire from rooftops during the protest marches. The Doctors Without Borders hospital in Nyala was heavily attacked by Sudanese security forces on Tuesday. Our correspondent says that one of the doctors was shot and is in a critical condition. Protests have also erupted in several other cities and towns across Sudan, under the banner “Friday of the Future”. President Bashir is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. His own National Congress Party has called for calm but has condemned the protesters.

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