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Sudan Protests Spread as Death Toll Rises to 29

KHARTOUM – A 24-year-old man has died of his wounds during protests in Sudan as thousands of demonstrators continued their protests across several cities, calling on long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir, to step down, Al Jazeera reported Friday.
Family members of the latest victim, Maawiya Bashir, told the Associated Press that he was shot in his home as he tried to shelter protesters being chased by government security forces.
With the man’s death, the number of fatalities since protests broke out in Sudan in mid-December has now reached 29, according to the governmental investigatory committee spokesman, Amer Mohamed Ibrahim.
According to the slain man’s son, Yahya, his father had just returned home from prayers when several protesters ran through the front gate behind him.
He said his father agreed to shelter the protesters, and shut the door behind them, then tried to prevent armed members of government security forces from entering.
A shot was fired through the gate, hitting Bashir and knocking him to the ground.
Seham Maawiya Bashir, daughter of Bashir, is demanding justice for her father.
She said, “He didn’t go out to the protests or do anything. He was in his home, how could a bullet come through the door and hit him, if he wasn’t even a protester.”
Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall, reporting from Khartoum, said that there have been at least 10 areas confirmed by Al Jazeera to have held protests on Thursday.
The protests, he said, were “larger than ever before” in Khartoum and at least three major cities.
There have also been reports of protests in smaller villages.
“By far, we can say that this is the biggest turnout of protesters across the country since the beginning of this movement.”
Protests began in mid-December over price hikes, but have morphed into calls for President Bashir, who has been in power for 29 years, to step down.
Since then, authorities in Sudan have used tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and batons to quell the unrest. Authorities have imposed emergency laws and night-time curfews in some cities and suspended classes in schools and universities in others.
They have also arrested opposition leaders, doctors, journalists, lawyers and students along with some 800 protesters.
Rights groups said as many as 40 people, including children, have been killed in the clashes, most by gunshot wounds. AL-Bashir’s government has acknowledged only 24 deaths.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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