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5th Day of Protests in Sudan

A funeral for a Sudanese pharmacist who was killed during the past week of protests has turned into a mass demonstration against the government.

Several thousand protesters joined mourners in Khartoum Saturday during a funeral procession for the pharmacist. Some shouted "Freedom, freedom" and called for the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

The government's move to cut fuel subsidies - causing a sharp rise in fuel prices for ordinary Sudanese - triggered angry protests on Monday that have grown and become one of the most serious challenges to Mr. Bashir since he seized power in 1989.

Witnesses say security forces have fired live ammunition at crowds of protesters. Human-rights groups estimate that government forces shot and killed 50 demonstrators in the first few days of demonstrations.

Sudanese authorities report 33 deaths, including four protesters who police say were shot by unidentified gunmen on Friday.

The U.S. State Department has condemned what it calls Sudan's heavy-handed and brutal crackdown on protests.

Sudan's fuel crisis began after South Sudan broke away from the Khartoum government and became independent in 2011. The new nation controls about three-quarters of crude oil production facilities in the former unified Sudan.

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