NYALA — Sudanese authorities closed schools in Darfur’s largest city Wednesday after at least eight people, many reportedly teenagers, were killed in the worst violence since Arab Spring-style demonstrations began.
Local radio in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, broadcast an announcement that the schools were shut, a resident said.
Police were deployed throughout the city, he added, but there were no more demonstrations after Tuesday’s violence, which was unprecedented since protests sparked by high inflation began in the capital Khartoum on June 16.
The city’s main market, a focus of Tuesday’s demonstration, also stayed closed on Wednesday, the resident said. “Eight citizens were killed and 24 injured, including three police who are in a serious condition,” the official SUNA news agency quoted police as saying.
They are the first officially confirmed deaths related to the scattered anti-regime protests which have taken place for more than six weeks around Sudan.
An activist youth movement, Sudan Change Now, accused security forces of firing live ammunition and said 12 people, many of them young people, were killed.
Police did not give the cause of death but said officers used a “low level of force” to control the situation after demonstrators burned a petrol station and police facilities in Nyala.
A witness said police had fired tear gas at the demonstrators, who threw stones at government buildings and burned tires in the street.
Like other demonstrators in Sudan, they repeated a call made by Arab Spring protesters around the region: “The people want the fall of the regime.” — AFP