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7 dead, hundreds wounded in mass protests against military rule in Sudan

By Darryl Coote
7 dead, hundreds wounded in mass protests against military rule in Sudan
Sudanese protesters shout slogans during a protest against the ruling military council in Khartoum, Sudan, Sunday. Photo by Marwan Ali/EPA-EFE

June 30 (UPI) -- At least seven people were killed and nearly 200 were wounded Sunday during massive demonstrations throughout Sudan demanding the end of military rule.

Tens of thousands of protesters surged through the nation's streets, shouting slogans against the 80-day military rule of the country while demanding democracy be installed.

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Acting undersecretary of health Soliman Abdel-Gabar reported at least seven people had died and 181 people were injured, 27 from bullet wounds, nationwide during the protests.

The opposition Central Committee of Sudan Doctors reported over a hundred wounded, many critically, by the Rapid Support Forces in their attempt to quell the crowds.

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During protests in Omdurman, about 14 miles north of the capital of Khartoum, security forces used live ammunition on demonstrators, killing at least four people, the doctors group reported.

Three people with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and another with a head injury from a gas canister were undergoing surgery, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.

Earlier, the doctors group said security forces opened fire on a hospital campus in the state of Al Qadarif, resulting in "a number of casualties."

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A man in his 20s was the first person to be killed Sunday, in the city of Atbara, about 216 miles from the capital, with a "direct gunshot in his chest," the doctors group said.

The protests came 27 days after at least 35 demonstrators were killed by security forces in an attempt to break up a sit-in protest in the capital city. In the weeks that followed, the number of casualties climbed to 128.

The June 3 attack attracted worldwide condemnation, with responsibly for the dead laid at the feet of the TMC as the ruling governmental body.

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The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union said in a statement June 17 that it "remains deeply concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan."

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which organized the demonstrations, said the protests were "in mourning" for those victims and in demand for power to be handed over to civilian authority.

The protests occurred as the African Union and Ethiopia are mediating between the ruling Transitional Military Government and the umbrella opposition organization, the Forces of Freedom and Change.

On Friday, the mediators submitted their power-transition proposal to the two sides.

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British Ambassador to Sudan Irfan Siddiq announced the submission via Twitter, saying "would be great for 30 June to be a day of celebration, rather than protests."

All agreements between the two sides were nullified and communication ceased following the June 3 crackdown.

The TMC and the FFC have been locked in confrontation since the military deposed 30-year dictator president Omar al-Bashir April 11 at the behest of the public.

Protests continued, despite Al-Bashir's dethroning, in demand that the military hand over government rule.

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