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Feared Sudanese paramilitary force kills 1 in Khartoum

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) secure the area for a rally by the supporters of Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) in the village of Abraq, about 60 kilometers northwest of Khartoum, on June 22, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Members of a feared Sudanese paramilitary force have killed a protester and injured several others at an anti-junta rally in a town southeast of the capital, Khartoum.

The Sunday rally in El-Souk, 340 km southeast of Khartoum, was held to protest against the violence perpetrated by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which is accused of killing dozens of people in a raid on a protest sit-in in Khartoum last month and in a few subsequent attacks.

Witnesses said that the incident occurred when residents rallied to demand that members of the RSF leave the town.

“Residents of the town had gathered outside the office of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to complain about the RSF,” AFP quoted a witness as saying. “RSF members deployed and initially started shooting in the air but later they opened fire at residents, killing a man and wounding several other people.”

A doctors’ committee linked to the protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, confirmed the incident in a statement. The victim “was killed by a gunshot fired to his head by Rapid Support Forces militia,” it said, adding that several other people were wounded.

On Saturday, protesters held rallies in several cities and towns across the Northeast African country to mourn those killed in Khartoum in early June.

Tensions remain high between the protest leaders and the ruling generals since the June 3 raid, when armed men in military fatigues shot demonstrators who had camped for weeks outside army headquarters. Opposition medics say more than 100 people were killed in the dispersal and subsequent violence.

Protesters and rights groups say the raid on the sit-in outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum was carried out by members of the RSF.

​Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration in the Sudanese capital’s twin city of Omdurman to mourn dozens of demonstrators killed last month in a brutal raid on a Khartoum sit-in, on July 13, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The protesters have been calling for the departure of the generals, who seized power following the April ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

Protesters have kept up demonstrations, pressing the military to hand over power to a civilian government.

Talks between the umbrella protest movement and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) collapsed in May over the composition of a new governing body and whether it should have a civilian or military majority.

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