Twelve killed as Sudanese troops enter sit-in site, gunshots heard

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A number of Sudanese troops have entered the site of a protest sit-in where heavy gunshots were heard on Monday, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported, in what activists said was an attempt to disperse the protest outside the Defense Ministry.

The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said in a statement that at least 12 people were killed and many critically injured following the attempt to disperse the sit-in by the troops.

The Transitional Military Council said on Monday that criminal elements near a Khartoum protest site were targeted in a raid by security forces, denying that authorities were trying to clear the camp.

Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi also told Reuters that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) remained committed to talks with the protesters and was ready to hold a meeting soon.

Kabbashi earlier told Abu-Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia talks on a civilian transition were expected to resume “today or tomorrow.”
Protesters have remained camped out in front of Khartoum's army headquarters to pressure the generals to yield power.

Several activists and wtinesses reported that the troops are using force to disperse the longstanding sit-in. Thousands of Sudanese protesters also blocked roads with stones, and burning tires in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, according to witnesses.

“The protesters holding a sit-in in front of the army general command are facing a massacre in a treacherous attempt to disperse the protest,” the main protest group said in a statement, urging the Sudanese people to come to their rescue.

“Now an attempt is taking place to disperse the sit-in at the headquarters of the people’s armed forces by force by the military council,” said a short statement from the Sudanese Professionals Association, the group which spearheaded nationwide protests that started in December.

Live images broadcast by Arab television stations showed tents used by the protesters on fire, as other protesters ran away from the scene.

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