Protester killed at Sudan demo - police

2015-06-13 16:02


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Khartoum - A protester was killed on Friday after Sudanese police used tear gas to break up a protest in a suburb of Khartoum, the police said in a statement.

Several hundred people protested in the East Jreif neighbourhood over what they said were attempts by the government to seize their land without compensation, eyewitnesses said.

"This afternoon, a group of citizens from East Jreif demanding compensation for land" in the area held a demonstration, closing off two main streets, the police said.

The statement said the protesters burned a small police building in the area and "tried to attack the police station in East Jreif".

"The police repelled them with tear gas in accordance with the law and during this, one of the citizens was wounded and taken to hospital and treated and died shortly after".

The statement, released late on Friday, said a "number" of demonstrators and policemen were also wounded and treated in hospital, without giving details.

The police said they regretted the loss of life but had been "protecting the lives and property of citizens and the state," and that "several" people had been arrested and were being investigated.

Eyewitnesses in the area gave a different account of events in East Jreif, saying the demonstrators had been moving toward a bridge when the riot police arrived.

After Friday prayers, "hundreds" of young people took to the streets to "protest against the government confiscation of lands owned by residents of the area," an eyewitness told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"The demonstrators shut off the two main streets of the area and burned car tyres," the witness added.

A second witness said the riot police arrived as demonstrators headed towards a bridge linking the area to Khartoum.

"Five riot police cars arrived and started firing tear gas, and the protesters pelted them with stones," the witness said.

They said they had seen a demonstrator wounded in the clashes and other protesters had taken them to hospital.

Protests over local grievances occur frequently in Sudan but are often suppressed by police and state security agents.

One activist died in February after being hit with a baton when police broke up a protest weeks earlier in Khartoum's Shajara neighbourhood, also over what demonstrators said were government attempts to confiscate their land for investors.

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