KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese police fired tear gas after hundreds of protesters spilling out of a soccer match blocked a road in the capital, Khartoum, late on Sunday, and demonstrated against President Omar al-Bashir’s rule, a Reuters witness said.
Amid a heavy police presence, the protesters gathered in Omdurman, just across the River Nile from central Khartoum and chanted “The people want the fall of the regime” and “Freedom! Freedom!”.
Cities across Sudan have been shaken by five days of protests over price rises, shortages of basic commodities and a cash crisis. Protesters have repeatedly targeted the offices of Bashir’s party and called for an end to his 29-year rule.
Since the demonstrations started spreading on Wednesday, police have dispersed protesters with tear gas and authorities have declared states of emergency and curfews in several states.
Government officials have blamed the unrest on “infiltrators”. Officials and witnesses have recorded at least 12 deaths, though exact casualty figures are hard to ascertain.
After the soccer match on Sunday evening, security forces had cordoned off main streets around the stadium and more than 30 trucks carrying police in riot gear were spread across the area.
Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Richard Balmforth