CAIRO (Reuters) - The death toll from a police crackdown on the latest nationwide protests against military rule in Sudan rose to five on Friday, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.
The group of medics, which is aligned with the protest movement, said the fifth person who had been killed was hit in the chest by a tear gas canister fired by security forces during the protests on Thursday.
The protests were the 11th round of major demonstrations in Sudan since an Oct. 25 coup that saw Abdallah Hamdok removed but then reinstated as prime minister.
The overall death toll since the security forces' crackdown began in October has now risen to 53, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.
The demonstrators have demanded that the military play no role in government during a transition to free elections.
Security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades as protesters marched through Khartoum and the neighbouring cities of Omdurman and Bahri towards the presidential palace on Thursday, Reuters witnesses said.
Police https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/internet-services-disrupted-sudanese-capital-ahead-protests-reuters-witnesses-2021-12-30 had said in an earlier statement that four people had been killed in Omdurman, and 297 demonstrators and 49 police forces members were wounded nationwide during the protests, in which tens of thousands of people took part.
Al Hadath TV quoted an adviser to military leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan as saying the military would not allow anyone to pull the country into chaos and that continued protests were a "physical, psychological, and mental drain on the country" and "would not achieve a political solution".
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter that he was troubled by reports of lethal force and the United States "stands with the people of Sudan, as they demand freedom, peace, and justice".
The U.N. Special Representative to Sudan, Volker Perthes, said that he was "deeply disturbed" by the deaths.
(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba, additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Khalid Abdelaziz, Writing by Sarah El Safty, Editing by Timothy Heritage)