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Sudanese protesters turn out against President, largest number in months

Updated : April 09, 2019 11:30 AM IST

Sudanese security forces attempted to break up an anti-government sit-in outside the military headquarters in the country's capital Monday, setting off clashes in which a soldier was killed while trying to protect protesters, activists said.

Thousands had rallied in front of the compound in Khartoum since the weekend, in one of the biggest demonstrations since protests erupted in December calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

The protesters set up tents on Saturday, in what appeared to be an effort to replicate the mass sit-ins of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

On Monday, security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets and live fire to try to disperse the protesters, according to the Sudanese Professionals Association, which is spearheading the demonstrations.

The union leading the protests called on the military to back the "people's choice" to end al-Bashir's rule and said they are seeking "direct communications" with its leadership to "facilitate a peaceful transfer of power to a transitional government."

Protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said security forces attempted to break up a sit-in outside the military headquarters. A spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association told The Associated Press that clashes erupted early Monday between security forces and protesters, who have been camped out in front of the complex in Khartoum since Saturday. (AP Photo)
Protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said security forces attempted to break up a sit-in outside the military headquarters. A spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association told The Associated Press that clashes erupted early Monday between security forces and protesters, who have been camped out in front of the complex in Khartoum since Saturday. (AP Photo)
Sudanese protest in front of the military headquarters, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said Sunday that security forces have killed at least five protesters in the last twenty-four hours. The current wave of unrest erupted in December, initially over price hikes and shortages of food and fuel, but the demonstrations quickly morphed into calls for the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. (AP Photo)
Sudanese protest in front of the military headquarters, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said Sunday that security forces have killed at least five protesters in the last twenty-four hours. The current wave of unrest erupted in December, initially over price hikes and shortages of food and fuel, but the demonstrations quickly morphed into calls for the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. (AP Photo)
Sudanese protest in front of the military headquarters, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. (AP Photo)
Sudanese protest in front of the military headquarters, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. (AP Photo)
Sudanese protesters gather near the military headquarters, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. (AP Photo)
Sudanese protesters gather near the military headquarters, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in the capital Khartoum, Sudan. (AP Photo)
A protesters holds up a poster showing depicting Mahjoub El Taj Mahjoub, a second-year student at the Faculty of Medicine of El Razi University, who was allegedly tortured and beaten to death by the National Intelligence and Security Service in January, at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said security forces attempted to break up a sit-in outside the military headquarters. (AP Photo)
A protesters holds up a poster showing depicting Mahjoub El Taj Mahjoub, a second-year student at the Faculty of Medicine of El Razi University, who was allegedly tortured and beaten to death by the National Intelligence and Security Service in January, at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said security forces attempted to break up a sit-in outside the military headquarters. (AP Photo)
A protester holds up a police shield at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said security forces attempted to break up a sit-in outside the military headquarters. A spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association told The Associated Press that clashes erupted early Monday between security forces and protesters, who have been camped out in front of the complex in Khartoum since Saturday. (AP Photo)
A protester holds up a police shield at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Organizers behind anti-government demonstrations in Sudan said security forces attempted to break up a sit-in outside the military headquarters. A spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association told The Associated Press that clashes erupted early Monday between security forces and protesters, who have been camped out in front of the complex in Khartoum since Saturday. (AP Photo)
Protesters display Sudanese flags at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
Protesters display Sudanese flags at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
A protester holds up a police shield at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
A protester holds up a police shield at a rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
Protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
Protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
Protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
Protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, April 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
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