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Report: At least seven killed by Sudanese forces in anti-coup protests

Report: At least seven killed by Sudanese forces in anti-coup protests
At least seven protesters were killed by Sudanese security forces during anti-coup protests in the capital Khartoum on Monday. Photo by EPA-EFE

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Sudanese security forces shot and killed at least seven protesters during anti-coup rallies on Monday, a civilian doctors group claimed on social media.

The Sudanese Central Doctors Committee added that 100 people were also injured by gunfire as thousands of protesters marched toward the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum in opposition to a coup in October that saw the Sudanese military seize control of the nation.

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The SCDC said the military forces "keep on committing massacres, facing peaceful Sudanese protesters with deadly force," while noting that 71 civilians have been killed since the coup.

"The whole world must pay a close attention and take serious actions to stop these deliberate and heinous crimes against the people of Sudan, who has been peacefully and persistently pushing toward a free, peaceful, just and democratic country," it said.

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The protests came as Sudan's ruling Sovereign Council said Monday it would establish an anti-terrorism force to combat "multiple potential threats."

Al Jazeera reported that protesters were "turning out in the thousands on the streets to show the military that they want whatever initiative is going to result in a pure, civilian government."

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Sudanese activists shared videos on social media showing barrages of tear gas fired toward protesters that were blocking roads to the presidential compound, CNN reported.

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The Forces of Freedom and Change, an alliance of civilian political parties and movements, called for two days of civil disobedience and a general strike following the violence on Monday.

"Resistance committees have called on people to barricade neighborhoods and main streets to stop movement," the group said.

United Nations spokesman Stephan Dujarric condemned "the use of lethal force against demonstrators" in a statement Monday.

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"Whether it's in Khartoum or other places, people have a right to demonstrate peacefully," he said.

Abdalla Hamdok resigned on Jan. 2, two months after he was reinstated as prime minister following the coup, stating his efforts to "avoid our country from sliding into disaster" amid the anti-coup protests had been unsuccessful.

The deal that saw him reinstated also contained provisions for the creation of a unified army and an amendment to Sudan's constitution explicitly outlining the partnership between civilians and military under the transitional government, angering the nation's protest movement.

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