Sudanese security forces try to break up sit-in protest outside defense ministry

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Sudanese security forces on Monday launched an attempt to break up a protest by thousands of demonstrators camping outside the defense ministry in central Khartoum, witnesses said.

They said security forces on pickup trucks were firing tear gas extensively as they charged towards the sit-in.

Meanwhile, Sudanese soldiers intervened to protect protesters from security forces, demonstrators and witnesses said.

Thousands of protesters held a sit-in outside Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's residence in central Khartoum on Sunday, and crowds chanting anti-government slogans filled several main streets, witnesses said.

Sudan has seen sustained protests against Bashir and his National Congress Party since Dec. 19. Security forces have fired tear gas, stun grenades and live bullets to disperse protesters and dozens have been killed during demonstrations.

Bashir has refused to step down, saying that his opponents need to seek power through the ballot box.

On Sunday evening, dozens of demonstrations took place in the Sudanese capital, eyewitnesses said. Protesters marched in several streets of central Khartoum, setting fire to car tyres and blocking a main road, a Reuters witness said. Demonstrators also blocked a bridge that connects Khartoum and Khartoum North.

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