Sudanese troops deploy around army HQ: witnesses

KHARTOUM,Sudan’s army Monday deployed troops around its headquarters in Khartoum and blocked several roads leading to the complex, where protesters have massed demanding President Omar al-Bashir resign, witnesses said.

Witnesses said soldiers were putting up barricades in streets near the compound, where thousands of protesters have been demonstrating outside since Saturday urging the army to back them.

Since protests erupted across Sudan in December security agents and riot police have cracked down on demonstrators, but the army has so far not intervened.

Several vehicles carrying NISS personnel and riot police arrived in the early hours Monday at the site where protesters have been demonstrating continuously since Saturday, witnesses told AFP.

“After that, security forces began firing tear gas at protesters,” a witness said on condition of anonymity.

The gas was felt by residents in an upscale Khartoum district some five kilometres away from the army complex

“I stepped out on my balcony hearing the sound of the gas canisters and could feel the gas in the air,” said one resident.

A few hours later security personnel again fired tear gas at the protesters, witnesses said.

Protest organisers urged the residents of Khartoum and nearby areas to join the protesters who have been demonstrating for three days straight.

“Security forces of the regime are trying to disperse the sit-in by force,” the organisers called the Alliance for Freedom and Change said in a statement.


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