April 9 (UPI) -- More than a dozen people have been killed and dozens more injured in attacks on protesters in Sudan calling for an end to President Omar al-Bashir's rule.
The country's main opposition party said about 20 people have been killed after armed militias loyal to Bashir attacked protesters in the capital city of Khartoum. Army soldiers have stepped in to break up the clashes, The Guardian reported.
Other reports described dozens of smaller protests throughout the country, including some that were broken up by security forces.
Five people were killed in protests over the weekend and at least 51 people have been killed as of January, according to Human Rights Watch.
"It is clear that the regime of Omar al-Bashir and its security apparatus intend to continue using violence and excessive force against those who are exercising their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression," the Sudanese Professionals Union, which is organizing the protests, said in a letter Tuesday.
The union added that the regime rules "with complete tyranny, using violence and the security apparatus to guard itself against the people," adding that the government has lost all legitimacy since the beginning of the protests in December.
Additionally, it called for the the international community to support the movement against Bashir's regime.
"The Sudanese people continue to stand alone in the face of the regime's brutal apparatus," it said. "We urge the international and regional community to stop turning a blind eye to the ongoing situation in Sudan and to respond in an appropriate way to the crimes committed by Bashir's regime."
The United States, Britain and Norway issued a joint statement Tuesday, calling for Sudan's government to deliver "a credible plan" for political transition and release political detainees in response to the protesters' demands.
"This is a pivotal moment for the future of Sudan. The decisions the Sudanese authorities take now, in an inclusive dialogue, will have dramatic impact on the lives of 40 million Sudanese people and the stability of the region," the nations wrote.