KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Security forces stormed a protest camp in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday morning and at least nine people were reported killed in the worst violence since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.
Footage broadcast by Al Hadath and Al Jazeera television showed chaotic scenes of people fleeing through streets as sustained bursts of gunfire crackled in the air. People rushed to carry away those who had been hit, the footage showed.
The main protest group accused the ruling military council of trying to break up the camp, calling the action “a massacre”. The council said the security forces had targeted “unruly” groups in an adjacent area.
An alliance of protest and opposition groups said it was halting all contact with the military council. The two sides had been negotiating for weeks over who should govern in a transitional period following the overthrow of Bashir but the talks had become deadlocked.
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) had offered to let protesters form a government but insists on maintaining overall authority during an interim period. The demonstrators want civilians to run the transitional period and lead Sudan’s 40 million people to democracy.
Thousands of young men and women have been taking turns to camp outside the Defence Ministry, the focal point of anti-government protests that started in December.
A group of doctors linked to the opposition said nine “martyrs” had been killed in Monday’s violence and that the number of casualties was still rising.