At least seven killed in Sudan as anti-government violence flares

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At least seven people were killed in Sudan on Wednesday as anti-government violence flared in the capital Khartoum, prompting authorities to completely shut down the internet.

Protesters torched cars and petrol stations and threw rocks at police, who fired tear gas to try to disperse the biggest display of public anger against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government in more than a year, according to Reuters.

Demonstrators also set fire to the ruling party’s headquarters in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman on Tuesday.

Internet access was shut down and schools in the capital were closed, sources told Al Arabiya on Wednesday, in the third day of violence prompted by a cut in fuel subsidies.

According to an Al Arabiya correspondent, several users said access to the Internet had been cut. Meanwhile, the education ministry said schools in the capital would remain shut until Sept. 30.

The United States embassy in Khartoum appeals for calm, urging “all parties” to avoid the use of violence.

The government announced steep price rises for petroleum products on Monday after officials decided to suspend subsidies in a bid to reform the economy.

Police have so far responded to the protests with tear gas, an AFP correspondent said, and some 20 demonstrators were arrested.

Three people have now been killed nationwide -- two of them in the Khartoum area -- since protests broke out against the move on Monday, according to AFP.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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