Khartoum: Sudanese police fired tear gas on Sunday at crowds of anti-government protesters in Khartoum and the western war-torn region of Darfur after organisers called for nationwide rallies against President Omar al Bashir.
The demonstrations in Darfur were the first of their kind since unrest erupted last month over a government decision to triple the price of bread.
The protests have since swiftly escalated into nationwide rallies widely seen as the biggest threat to Bashir’s rule in his three decades in power.
Protesters who took to the streets in the capital’s Bahari district chanting “peace, peace” and “revolution is the people’s choice” were quickly confronted by riot police, witnesses said.
Authorities say the protests have left 24 people dead, while Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff. Protest organisers have called for near daily demonstrations across the country against Bashir this week, calling it a “Week of Uprising”.
In Khartoum on Sunday protesters were seen carrying the Sudanese flag as others held banners bearing the words “peace, justice, freedom”, which has become a key slogan in the rallies.
Witnesses said that police were pursuing protesters down Bahari’s streets and alleys.
Police arrested several protesters, witnesses said, as footage of the rally which could not be independently verified spread on social media networks. — AFP