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Sudan police fire tear gas as thousands rally 3 years after anti-Bashir uprising

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)
Sudanese protesters take part in a rally against military rule on the anniversary of a popular uprisings, in Khartoum, on 6 April 2022. (AFP)

Police have fired tear gas at protesters in Sudan as thousands rallied against last year's military coup on the anniversary of previous popular uprisings, most recently against autocrat Omar al-Bashir three years ago.

According to the independent Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, a 19-year-old was hit by a bullet fired by coup forces during the crackdown on the demonstrations in eastern Khartoum.

His death brings to 94 the death toll from the crackdown on anti-coup protests since the October 25 military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the committee said.

The security forces also "stormed Al Jawda hospital and fired tear gas inside, scaring patients and health workers and causing suffocation among some of them.

Sudan has grappled with an October 25 coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan that has derailed a political transition period and hammered the economy of one of the world's poorest countries.

Pro-democracy activists have warned online of a people power "earthquake of April 6" — a momentous day in Sudan's history that was key in bringing down earlier strongmen.

In 1985, the day saw a popular uprising that ousted president Jaafar Nimeiri. In 2019 it marked the start of a mass sit-in outside army headquarters, after months of protests, against Bashir's three decades in power.

"It is an important day... so we expect many to take to the streets despite the heat and Ramadan," the Muslim month of fasting, said one Khartoum protester, Badwi Bashir.

"We just want to bring down the coup [leadership] and end the prospect of any future coups."

Sudan's latest putsch has "set fire to all aspects of life, turning our country into an arena of crises," said the civilian alliance Forces of Freedom and Change, or FFC.

Security forces had earlier sealed off key bridges and deployed around the presidential palace and army headquarters.

In Omdurman, protesters broke through barbed wire blockades and marched through streets leading to the parliament building, according to an AFP correspondent. 

Protesters marched in the eastern state of Gedaref with banners that read "No to military rule" and "Away with the government of hunger", said one witness, Ahmed Salah. 

Demonstrations were also held in several cities across the Darfur region, the central state of North Kordofan and the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, according to witnesses.

Sudan has been in turmoil since the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency. The North African country has yet to appoint a prime minister.

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