Sudan protesters clash with police in ongoing unrest

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese police fired tear gas on Tuesday at hundreds of protesters blocking roads, burning tires and chanting anti-government slogans in and around the capital Khartoum as month-long protests continued unabated.

FILE PHOTO: Sudanese demonstrators burn tyres as they participate in anti-government protests in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan January 20, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

Demonstrators have been on the streets near-daily since Dec. 19, initially to protest against an economic crisis then to call for an end to the 30-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir.

In Omdurman, across the Nile from Khartoum, smoke could be seen rising from burned tires and tree branches, with the sound of the main rallying cry for Bashir’s fall: “Down, that’s it”.

In the north of the capital, protesters blocking a main road in one of the most populous neighborhoods chanted: “How much does a martyr’s blood cost?”, witnesses said.

Police fired tear gas to try and disperse crowds in both places, chasing protesters into side-streets, witnesses said.

“We will continue to protest so we can fulfill the goals of those who died, the martyrs,” said a 36-year-old housewife who asked not to be named.

The official death toll from the month of unrest stands at 26, including two security personnel.

Rights groups say at least 40 have died.

Earlier on Tuesday, police also fired tear gas at dozens of protesters gathered in Omdurman near the home of a man whose family said had died of wounds on Monday after he was shot at an anti-government protest last week.

Bashir, who has blamed the unrest on foreign “agents” and rebels from the western region of Darfur, was traveling to Qatar on Tuesday.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Yousef Saba; Editing by William Maclean and Andrew Cawthorne