Khartoum.- A Sudanese soldier on Monday died allegedly following a shootout with pro-government security forces, which were attempting to disperse protesters staging a sit-in in the capital Khartoum.
Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, a union that has joined widespread protests calling for Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president since 1989, to resign, said a soldier named Sami Sheikh al-Din died from injuries sustained when factions of the army moved in to thwart an attempt by the government-aligned security apparatus to clear tens of thousands of demonstrators from in front of the army headquarters.
A source from a military hospital in the city of Omdurman, just to the north of Khartoum, told Efe that the soldier had died from bullet wounds to the chest and head.
Eight other soldiers were injured, the medical source said.
Eyewitnesses outside the army barracks where the sit-in was taking place told Efe that members of the Sudanese armed forces fired into the air to force the security units to pull back from their operation.
«Military units protected those taking part in the sit-in after the security forces tried to end the protest with force,» Ali Ibrahim, a member of the Sudan Professionals Association union, which is at the fore of the growing revolt against the incumbent leader, told Efe.
Ibrahim claimed he witnessed the incident.
He said more than 50,000 people were participating in the demonstration, insisting they would not leave the area until Al-Bashir resigned and a transitional government was formed to «move the country onto the next stage.»
The SPA said on social media that «militias» had failed to remove the protesters by force thanks to the intervention by Sudanese soldiers.
It shared a video that apparently showed crowds of demonstrators thanking a group of soldiers in the back of a pick-up truck. At least one of the soldiers was visibly emotional.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which falls under the umbrella of the SPA, said many people were injured when the state security forces opened fire with live rounds at the sit-in, although the exact number of wounded was not made public by the group.
The medical union called on doctors to go to the Royal Care hospital to help staff administer treatment to the injured protesters.
Protests stirred in Sudan on Dec. 19, 2018, and have occurred almost daily since then.
They dipped in intensity when Al-Bashir declared a state of emergency on Feb. 22.
However, campaigners returned to the streets in their largest showing on Saturday, which coincided with the anniversary of the revolution of 1985 that paved the way for a four-year period of democracy.
They have remained on the streets since Saturday’s march.
At least 50 people have been killed since the action began, the movement was met with repression by security forces.
More than 1,000 are thought to have been arrested, among them opposition figures and activists. EFE