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Sudan Islamist party urges probe into killing of protesters

AFP , Wednesday 26 Dec 2018
Sudan
handout image provided a Sudanese activist, people chant slogans during a demonstration in Kordofan, Sudan Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018 AP
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Sudan's top Islamist party, a member of President Omar al-Bashir's government, called Wednesday for a probe into the killings of protesters in demonstrations that have rocked the economically troubled country.

Angry crowds have taken to the streets in Khartoum and several other cities since December 19 when the government tripled the price of bread

Sudanese authorities say eight protesters have been killed in clashes.

At a press conference in Khartoum, Popular Congress Party senior official Idris Suleman said his party's own reports indicated that 17 people "were martyred" and 88 wounded in the demonstrations.

Condemning the killings, the party, founded by late Islamist leader Hassan Turabi, urged the authorities to find those responsible.

"We call on the government to launch an investigation into the killings," Suleman said.

"Those who committed these killings must be held accountable."

Popular Congress Party is part of Bashir's government and has two ministers of state in the cabinet and seven lawmakers in parliament.

Police and security officers remained deployed in several parts of the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, but no new demonstration had been staged so far.

Bashir has sought to tamp down the discontent by vowing to "take real reforms" to solve Sudan's economic woes.

But his statements appear to have done little to appease protesters angered by financial hardships.

Sudan is mired in economic difficulties including an acute foreign currency shortage and soaring inflation.

The crisis has worsened despite the lifting of an economic embargo by the United States in October 2017.

Inflation is running at close to 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages in bread and fuel have been reported across several cities including Khartoum.

Since the start of the protest movement, Sudanese authorities had arrested several anti-government figures with liberal and communist backgrounds.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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