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27 Dead in Sudan Protests; Bashir Cancels UN Trip

Medical officials in Sudan say at least 27 people have died in four days of protests against the government's decision to cut fuel subsidies.

The suspension has caused a sharp rise in fuel prices, a development that has angered civilians and prompted some to call for the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

Late Wednesday, Sudan said Mr. Bashir has canceled a planned appearance in New York at the U.N. General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Sudanese authorities have deployed security forces around key installations and gas stations, after rioters set buildings on fire and blocked roads.

The escalating unrest, has become one of the biggest challenges to Mr. Bashir's government since he seized power in 1989.

The protests began Monday after the government announced the fuel subsidy suspension in a bid to help the economy. On Sunday, President Bashir said the subsidies had reached a level that was "dangerous" for Sudan's economy.

Sudan's fuel crisis began after South Sudan became independent in 2011. The new nation took over about three-quarters of Sudan's crude oil production.

A trip to New York could have been risky for Mr. Bashir. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the conflict in the western Darfur region.

The ICC had urged the United States to arrest Mr. Bashir if he traveled to New York.

Mr. Bashir is accused of orchestrating crimes including murder, rape and extermination against civilians in Darfur, where rebel groups have been fighting the Bashir government since 2003. Mr. Bashir denies the charges.