Thousands protest in Sudan against coup killings

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Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets Thursday in the capital to protest against the killings of dozens in a crackdown since last year's military coup, an AFP correspondent said.

The demonstrations, largely in Khartoum, were the latest since the October 25 coup led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, which derailed a civilian-military power-sharing deal painstakingly negotiated in the wake of the 2019 ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

The latest protests come as the US has sought to bolster UN-led efforts to end the violence and resume dialogue aimed at reviving a transition to full civilian rule.

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On Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee and special envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, held meetings with the bereaved families of people killed during the protests.

Protesters converged on Thursday from several parts of the capital onto a main artery in east Khartoum, according to the AFP correspondent.

At least 72 people have been killed -- including many by live rounds -- during the ongoing crackdown, according to a count by a pro-democracy group of medics.

Sudan's authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against demonstrators, and insist scores of security personnel have been wounded during protests.

A police general was stabbed to death a week ago.

The coup has been met with wide international condemnation.

At least seven protesters were killed on Monday alone, the medics said, in one of the bloodiest days of anti-coup rallies.

Pro-democracy activists launched calls for civil disobedience which saw many shops closed, streets barricaded, and hundreds rallying across Sudan.

Prosecutors, judges, university professors, and doctors have also joined in the civil disobedience campaign, according to separate statements.

Phee and Satterfield met with members of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of unions which were instrumental in the protests leading up to the ouster of Bashir in April 2019.

They also met with the mainstream faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change, the key civilian grouping within the derailed power-sharing government.

The FFC called Thursday's protests in Khartoum to be held “in tribute to the martyrs”, and nationwide on Friday.

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