Khartoum (Reuters) -Several hundred
Sudanese protested in Khartoum on Friday to demand the resignation of
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, but crowds were much smaller than last
week, when protests provoked a bloody security crackdown.
said on Wednesday that 210 protesters were killed in clashes with
security forces last week, quoting figures from a Sudanese doctors'
union. This was well above the 34 reported dead by the government, which has denied shooting any protesters it calls "vandals."
have said they arrested 700 people in what was the worst unrest in
central Sudan in years, triggered by cuts in subsidies on cooking oil
and fuel that doubled pump prices overnight.
In Khartoum's Bahri district some 500 people took to the streets on Friday, shouting "freedom, freedom", a Reuters witness said.
100 people also gathered in the Burri district of the capital, where a
week ago a member of prominent family was shot dead, a witness said.
Port Sudan on the Red Sea, Sudan's biggest port, about 50 people staged
a sit-in in front of the security headquarters calling for the release
of political prisoners.
The protests were much smaller than those last week ago, when thousands took to the streets.
government cut subsidies to ease a financial crunch aggravated by the
secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011. The South's departure
deprived Khartoum of three-quarters of the crude output it relied on for
state revenues and foreign currency needed to import food.
has held power since staging a bloodless coup in 1989, in spite of
rebellions, U.S. trade sanctions, an economic crisis, an attempted coup
last year and an indictment from the International Criminal Court on
charges of masterminding war crimes in the western region of Darfur.
*Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by David Brunnstrom*Photograph by Khalil Hamra courtesy of Associated Press