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Sudan Anti-Austerity Rallies Continue in Khartoum for Second Day

Sudanese students rallied at Khartoum University for a second day against the government’s planned austerity measures, following a crackdown by police yesterday that included a nighttime raid on female dormitories.

Hundreds of students gathered today chanting “People want the regime out” and “Khartoum University free, police out,” Ibtisam Mohamed, a 21-year-old engineering student, said by phone from Khartoum, the capital.

Police yesterday clashed with protesters at the campus and raided the female dormitories at 10:30 p.m., using tear gas and metal rods to beat students protesting high prices and spending cuts, she said. The police, in a statement yesterday, said its forces had contained a small demonstration and charged seven students with “inciting riots.”

“It was nightmarish,” said Salwa Nasry, a 19-year-old science student. “I was inside my room, half a kilometer away from the clashes, and the smell of tear gas was suffocating me and I could hear the screaming of girls being beaten up by armed police.”

Police yesterday fired tear gas and warning shots earlier in the day to disperse hundreds of university students protesting austerity measures announced by President Umar al-Bashir’s government to cope with the loss of oil exports since the secession of South Sudan in July.

The plans, due to be discussed in Parliament this week, include the partial removal of oil subsidies and an increase in public-transport prices. They’re intended to narrow a $2.4 billion budget deficit.

The police, in a statement issued yesterday on the state-run Sudanese Media Centre, urged citizens not to “follow rioters and rumor mongers, who aim to destabilize the security of the country.”

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