January 29, 2019 / 3:47 PM / 8 months ago

Sudan security chief orders release of detained protesters

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s security chief has ordered the release of people detained during weeks of anti-government protests, the information ministry said on Tuesday, as demonstrations continued in several cities.

The ministry was confirming reports by activists that Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, the head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), visited a prison in the capital Khartoum and said arrested protesters would be freed.

No further details were available. Hundreds of protesters, activists and opposition figures have been arrested since protests began to spread across Sudan on Dec. 19.

The demonstrations, triggered by a worsening economic crisis, have called for an end to the rule of President Omar al-Bashir who has been in power since 1989.

Police used tear gas on Tuesday to disperse dozens of demonstrators in Khartoum’s Burri neighbourhood and hundreds who gathered in its twin city of Omdurman, witnesses said.

Hundreds also demonstrated in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan and chanted anti-government slogans.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Aidan Lewis,; Editing by Gareth Jones and Ed Osmond

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