Witnesses, Arab TV stations and one of Sudan’s main protest groups said Monday that the troops stormed the protest camp amid gunfire early in the morning, prompting clashes with the protesters, who have remained camped out there for months.
The protesters have been calling on thecountry’s military rulers running the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to a civilian government. The TMC assumed power in April after the military toppled President Omar al-Bashir in the wake of angry protests against his 30-year rule.
Live images broadcast on television stations on Monday morning showed tents used by the protesters on fire, as other protesters ran away from the scene.
Protesters ‘facing massacre’
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, a medical group linked to protesters, said over a dozen people were killed and dozens more wounded in the raid, which was still in progress.
“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 (SPA), the group which spearheaded nationwide protests that started in December 2018 against Bashir’s rule.
“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,” said the protest group.
The SPA also urged people to rush to the protesters’ help, saying the TMC had assigned a large number of soldiers to carry out the raid and force the protesters out of the camp.
Meanwhile, Reuters cited witnesses as saying that thousands of protesters have blocked roads with stones and burning tires in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum.
The witness said there were no security forces in the area as young men and women blocked main streets and side roads across Omdurman, which sits on the other side of the Nile River from Khartoum.
The raid follows deadly clashes a day earlier, which saw security troops open fire on the protesters at the site, killing two of them and wounding several others.
Two killed at protest site as Sudan junta digs heelsSudanese security forces have opened fire, killing two protesters and wounding 10 others near a protest site in the capital Khartoum.
Tensions have been on the rise between the TMC and an alliance of protest and opposition groups, who want a quick handover of power to civilians.
The TMC has offered to let protesters form a government to run the country, but insists on maintaining overall authority during an interim period.
Several rounds of negotiations between the protest leaders and the junta have broken down amid differences.