Sudan police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum

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Sudanese police fired tear gas Sunday at crowds of anti-government protesters in Khartoum after organizers called for nationwide rallies against President Omar al-Bashir.

Protesters chanting “peace, peace” and “revolution is the people’s choice” took to the streets in the capital’s district of Bahari, but were quickly confronted by riot police, witnesses told AFP.

Protests that first erupted in the provinces on December 19 over a government decision to triple the price of bread have swiftly escalated into nationwide rallies widely seen as the biggest threat to Bashir’s three-decade rule.

Authorities say the protests have left 24 people dead, while Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical staff.

On Sunday, protesters in Khartoum were seen carrying the Sudanese flag as others held banners bearing the words “peace, justice, freedom”, which has become a key slogan in the rallies.

Protest organisers have called for near daily demonstrations across the country against Bashir this week, calling it a “Week of Uprising”.

Protests also broke out Sunday in the western war-torn region of Darfur, after calls for rallies there by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded the demonstrations.

Protesters there took to the streets of El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. The demonstration was the first of its kind in Darfur since the unrest began.