Six killed in Sudan clashes as food protests erupt

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Zakaria Abd al-Mabhouh was arrested by Sudanese intelligence services in Cairo last year

Six people have been killed in clashes between police and protesters in Sudan after security forces opened fire on a demonstration in the capital.

Hundreds took to the streets of Khartoum to protest over rising costs of food.

At least another 100 people were reported injured in the gunfire, the state news agency SUNA said.

Tensions remain high in Sudan after Sudanese journalist Zakaria Abd al-Mabhouh was arrested by Sudanese intelligence services in Cairo last year.

Clashes had broke out on Sunday after demonstrators called for cheaper food and austerity measures.

Images published by social media networks showed dozens of people running for cover as gunfire rang out.

The Sudanese Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement that police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of people who had gathered in the capital.

The authorities also closed the main road to the Nile-side Omdurman district and threatened to use tear gas on the protesters if they failed to disperse, the statement said.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Anger is mounting over the high costs of food in Sudan

The police said they had launched an operation against a “criminal group” that had blocked the road leading from Red Sea port Omdurman to the Omdurman suburb, the news agency reported.

The Sudanese demonstrators are joined by their fellow Arab neighbours, including fellow Arab Spring country Egypt.

The shutdown and shooting in Khartoum comes days after a Sudanese-Egyptian journalist and activist was arrested and has not been seen since, the UN said.

Mawra al-Waheed, the acting director of Al Jazeera Sudan’s bureau in Cairo, was taken into custody at the Egyptian airport by police after completing a holiday trip to Sudan, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Friday.

Journalists, parliamentarians and activists are concerned because Ms Waheed’s continued detention contradicts the long-held promise of improving ties between Egypt and Sudan, the spokesman said.

Egypt’s security officials say that they only operate in “self-defence”, Mr Dujarric added.

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