Sudanese forces fire tear gas at new anti-coup protests

CAIRO (AP) — Sudanese security forces fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse protesters in Khartoum as thousands of people rallied again in the country’s capital and elsewhere to protest the October military coup.

Despite tightened security measures and closures of bridges and roads, protesters marched in Khartoum, beating drums and waving Sudanese flags. They chanted “Revolution! The military belong in the barracks!”

Demonstrators also hurled stones at security forces and armored police vehicles from where tear gas was fired.

The protest was preceded by a disruption of the mobile internet, according to advocacy group NetBlocs, a usual tactic employed by the generals since the Oct. 25 coup.

“Our position is clear; we are opposed to any negotiations, partnership or compromise” with the military, said Shahinaz Gamal, a protester. “We came out today to bring down this (ruling military) council and to have a civilian democratic government afterwards.”

Similar protests took place in other parts of the country, including the provinces of Kassala and West Darfur, and the coastal city of Port Sudan. Despite the internet disruption, activists posted a few videos showing masked protesters rallying under clouds of gas.

The October military takeover upended a fragile planned transition to democratic rule and led to relentless street demonstrations across Sudan. At least 47 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in protests triggered by the coup, according to a tally by a Sudanese medical group.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a former U.N. official seen as the civilian face of Sudan’s transitional government, was reinstated last month amid international pressure in a deal that calls for an independent technocratic Cabinet under military oversight led by him.

That deal, however, was rejected by the pro-democracy movement, which insists that power be handed over to a fully civilian government tasked with leading the transition.