Heavy gunfire has been heard in Sudan‘s capital, Khartoum, as security forces forcefully moved in to clear a protest camp that has been the central point in the demonstrators’ months-long struggle for civilian rule.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, a medical group linked to protesters, said at least one person was killed and several were wounded in the Monday morning raid, which was still in progress.
In a post on Twitter, the Sudanese Professionals Association said the country’s ruling transitional military council had assigned a large number of troops to disperse the protest camp.
The sound of heavy gunfire was heard in footage broadcast from the scene, while plumes of smoke rose into the sky.
“We are being attacked by the Rapid Support Forces and the police,” Mamadou Abozeid, a protester in Khartoum, told Al Jazeera over the phone.
Nawal Osman, a protester in Khartoum, said she and her husband were getting ready to leave their house and join the protesters.
“I am going right now there, I live nearby the protest area,” she told Al Jazeera over the phone. “This revolution is staying,” she added. “We are all ready to be there, to protect and to get rid of those criminals.”
The sit-in has become the focal point of Sudan’s protest movement, which saw longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir overthrown in April and has since been calling for the generals who replaced him to hand over power to a civilian-led administration.
The operation came days after Sudan’s military rulers called the sit-in outside the defence ministry “a danger” to the country’s national security.
The military has also ordered the office of the Al Jazeera Media Network in Khartoum to be shut down, without giving any reason. It also withdrew the work permits for the correspondents and staff of the Qatar-based news organisation.
More to follow…