Sudan Police Fire Tear Gas After Fuel Protests Leave Three Dead

Sudanese police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the capital Khartoum today after two days of demonstrations sparked by the lifting of fuel subsidies left at least three people dead.

Ahmed Al-Gazouli, a 17-year-old student, died after being shot in the chest at a rally yesterday in the city of Omdurman, near Khartoum, his cousin Hamad Al-Tayeb said by phone from the capital. His funeral will be held today. State media reported the deaths of two more people in Wad Madani, the capital of Gezira state in the southeast, and said many have been arrested.

Sudan’s cabinet on Sept. 23 approved measures including increases to fuel and transportation prices, and a depreciation of the Sudanese pound. That lifted the price of gasoline to 14 pounds ($3.17) per gallon from 8 pounds, while public transport costs jumped 26 percent.

President Umar al-Bashir said on Sept. 23 that state subsidies for fuel had reached a dangerous level, causing damage to the economy that poses a bigger threat to public welfare than the removal of the subsidies.

Protesters in Khartoum’s Aviation Street chanted “the people want the fall of the regime,” echoing the slogan of the Arab uprisings of 2011. Demonstrations also erupted in other areas in the capital, according to witnesses. Police spokesman al-Ser Ahmed Omar in Khartoum didn’t immediately answer phone calls seeking comment.

Schools in the capital will be closed until Sept. 30 amid the violence, the official Sudan Media Center said.

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