Skirmishes in Sudan after protest deaths

STORY: Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at protesters on Friday (July 1) near the presidential palace in Khartoum.

The skirmishes came a day after nine people were reported killed during the largest anti-military rallies for months.

Protest groups demanding a return to democratic rule have said they will organize an open-ended campaign of sit-ins and other peaceful actions in response to the deaths.

"The sit-in can develop but we must fortify it properly. Those who have come from Omdurman can join our sit-in and others from surrounding areas as well can join so it can become a large sit-in."

Medics aligned with the protesters said the victims were mostly killed by gunfire from security forces in Khartoum and the adjoining cities of Omdurman and Bahri.

Sudan's ruling council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thursday's (June 30) rallies came after more than eight months of demonstrations against military leaders who staged a coup last October, ending a power-sharing arrangement with civilians agreed following the 2019 overthrow of Omar al-Bashir.

Khartoum State police said in a statement they'd used tear gas and water cannon and made arrests on Thursday after protesters equipped with stones and metal bars moved against their positions.

Dozens of members of the security forces had been injured, some of them seriously, the statement said.

The medics group said on Friday that another protester beaten during demonstrations in the capital a week earlier had died of his injuries.

That brings the number of protester deaths since the coup to 113.

The military-led government has not released its own estimates of arrests or deaths.