A protester carries a Sudanese national flag as he burns tyres during a demonstration against a report of the Attorney-General on the dissolution of the sit-in protest in Khartoum, Sudan. (Reuters)
KHARTOUM – The head of an official Sudanese investigation said on Saturday 87 people were killed when security forces broke up a protest on June 3, a figure that prompted demonstrations across the capital as opponents of Sudan’s military rulers dismissed it as far too low.
Fath al-Rahman Saeed, the head of the investigative committee appointed by the public prosecutor, said members of the security forces fired live ammunition at protesters in Khartoum who were demanding the military cede power.
Reflecting anger at the findings, dozens of protesters chanted slogans against the committee in Khartoum’s Burri district and burned tyres in the street, witnesses said.
Saeed told a news conference three officers had violated orders by moving forces into the sit-in area outside the Defence Ministry, a focal point during protests that led to the ouster of long-time President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.
Saeed said 17 of the 87 people killed were in the square occupied by protesters in the worst bout of violence since Bashir was toppled. He said 168 people were wounded, with 48 of them hit by bullets.
Some outlaws exploited this gathering and formed another gathering in what is known as the Columbia area, where negative and illegal practices took place,” Saeed said, adding one of the three officers involved ordered his forces to whip protesters.
“It became a security threat, forcing the authorities to make necessary arrangements to clear the area,” Saeed said.
The committee’s findings put the death toll higher than the Health Ministry’s previous estimate of 61. But opposition medics have said 127 people were killed and 400 people wounded.
On Saturday night, police fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of protesters in the neighbourhoods of Burri and Riyadh and on Sitteen Street, a Reuters witness said. (Reuters)