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Thousands of Sudanese attend anti military coup rally

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KHARTOUM: Thousands of people marched in the streets of Sudanese capital and other parts of the country in the latest mass rally protesting against military rule that upended a transition to civilian govt, witnesses said.

Security forces fired tear gas at dozens of protesters to stop them from heading toward the presidential palace in Khartoum on Thursday.

As the protests thinned out by the evening, security forces again fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators in Omdurman and east Khartoum, witnesses said.

Many were seen carrying Sudanese flags and holding up posters of fellow protesters who have been killed, with activists saying Thursday’s rallies were only a warm-up for a larger protest they plan on February 14.

“Today’s protests are in preparation for the mass demonstrations on Monday,” activist Roaa Bashir said.

Later on Thursday, a man was killed after a truck smashed through a protest barricade in Northern State, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said, blaming “the coup authorities” for allowing the vehicle to cross.

Crowds waved flags, banged drums, danced and chanted slogans, warning each other to keep a lookout for the security forces who have launched deadly crackdowns on previous rallies, leaving at least 79 people killed and hundreds wounded, according to independent medics.

“Don’t show your back to the military, they are not to be trusted,” shouted protesters in the city of Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum, lying across the Nile river.

“Give your back to the streets, it will not betray you,” they added.

While Sudan has repeatedly denied opening fire on protesters, Human Rights Watch has quoted witnesses detailing how the security forces have used both “live ammunition” and fired tear gas canisters “directly” at crowds, a tactic that can be deadly at close-quarters.

Regular mass protests have rocked the troubled northeast African nation since the October 25 military takeover led by army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan.

The power grab derailed a fragile power-sharing arrangement between the army and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime ruler Omar al Bashir.

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