Sudanese security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas on pro-democracy protesters in the capital of Khartoum on Thursday, according to activists, as nationwide demonstrations against an October 25, 2021, military coup continued.
The military takeover of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s civilian government occurred after weeks of escalating tensions between military and civilian leaders over Sudan’s transition to democracy.
The coup has threatened to derail the process, which had slowly progressed since the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising in 2019.
Since the civilian government’s ouster, marches by the pro-democracy movement have been held on a nearly daily basis.
Protesters marched Thursday in various parts of Khartoum, its twin city of Omdurman and in the western region of Darfur under tight security, according to online footage and activists.
As protesters in Khartoum demanded the removal of military leaders from power and the establishment of a civilian government to lead the transition, at least six people sustained gunshot wounds in the Bahri district when security forces fired live ammunition to disperse demonstrators, according to activist Nazim Sirag.
Security forces also fired tear gas to disperse protesters on a street leading to the palace, according to the pro-democracy movement.
White smoke, possibly from tear gas, could be seen as some protesters scampered while others threw stones at the troops, online videos showed.
The police said that Col. Ali Hamad was killed while providing security at a protest near the presidential palace. Police spokesman Idris Abdalla Idris told Sudan TV Hamad “fell martyr” (died a martyr's death) after a police statement said Hamad received “deadly stabs by groups of protestors … in different parts of his body.”
More than 60 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured in protests since the coup, which Sudanese military chief General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan said was necessary to avoid a civil war.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.