KHARTOUM (AFP/Reuters) – At least 10 protesters have been killed in Sudan as pro-democracy demonstrations that have swept across the country entered a second day on Friday.
At least seven of those killed were shot in the chest or the head, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.
One of them was a minor, the doctors said, killed by “a bullet in the chest”.
The committee noted the “very large number of injuries” - currently thought to be at least 100 - caused by live fire, as reports of serious violence came in from all parts of Sudan.
Demonstrators faced tear gas and a communications blackout as they staged a major round of rallies against Sudan’s military leadership, witnesses said.
They estimated the crowds in Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Bahri to be at least in the tens of thousands on Thursday, the largest for months.
Resistance committees on Friday called for the continuation of the protests until the military, which took power in October, stands down.
A general strike on Friday saw the shutdown of public transport and the closure of shops and local markets.
Security forces were heavily deployed and internet services had been cut in Khartoum on Thursday ahead of the protests demanding the reversal of the coup.
The move marked the first time in months that web access has been blocked in the lead up to rallies.
Medics reported “several attempts to storm hospitals in Khartoum,” with security forces firing tear gas into one hospital, where some of those injured during the protests had been taken.
The United Nations, African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development have all condemned the violence against protesters.
On Friday, the three bodies jointly criticized the violence and “the use of excessive force by security forces and lack of accountability for such actions, despite repeated commitments by authorities”.
Police said they were attacked by protesters on Thursday, with more than 200 police and military officers injured, “some critically”.
Protests in Khartoum were larger than normal, and beyond the capital, demonstrations also took place in Wad Madani in the south, the western Darfur region, the eastern states of Kassala and Gedaref as well as the city of Port Sudan, witnesses said.
Demonstrations continued in Omdurman, as night fell with crowds trying to remove security barricades in a bid to cross bridges to reach Khartoum, witnesses said.
Thursday’s rallies showed a “change in the balance of power in favor of the mass movement and its goals of seizing complete civil authority and defeating the coup,” said the Forces for Freedom and Change, an alliance of civilian groups whose leaders were ousted in the coup.
The protests come on the anniversary of a previous coup on 30 June 1989, which toppled the country’s last elected civilian government and ushered in three decades of authoritarian rule by former president Omar al-Bashir.