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Sudan military fires on anti-coup protesters, killing 3 — medics

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CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s military seized power Monday, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the prime minister. Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy.

Security forces opened fire on some of the crowds, and three protesters were killed, according to the Sudan Doctors’ Committee, which said 80 people were wounded.

The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, and just weeks before the military was supposed to hand the leadership of the council that runs the country over to civilians.

After the early morning arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials, thousands poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman. They blocked streets and set fire to tires as security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

As plumes of smoke filled the air, protesters could be heard chanting, “The people are stronger, stronger!” and “Retreat is not an option!” Videos on social media showed large crowds crossing bridges over the Nile to the center of the capital, while the US embassy warned troops were blocking off parts of the city.

“We call for the military to immediately cease violence, release detained officials, and ensure the safety of Sudanese citizens demonstrating for democratic and civilian leadership,” the embassy said, urging a return to a civilian-led government.

Pro-democracy activist Dura Gambo said paramilitary forces chased protesters through some neighborhoods of Khartoum. She said the sporadic sound of gunshots could be heard in many parts of the capital.

Records from a hospital in Khartoum obtained by The Associated Press showed some people admitted with gunshot wounds.

In the afternoon, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced on national TV that he was dissolving the government and the Sovereign Council, a joint military and civilian body created soon after al-Bashir’s ouster to run the country.

Burhan said quarrels among political........

© The Times of Israel

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