Three killed after Sudan’s military seizes power in coup

People gather as fire and smoke are seen on the streets of Kartoum, Sudan, amid reports of a coup, October 25, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media. RASD SUDAN NETWORK via REUTERS

Sudan’s military seized power from a transitional government on Monday and soldiers killed at least three people and wounded 80 as street protests broke out against the coup.

The leader of the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the military-civilian Sovereign Council that had been established to guide the country to democracy following the overthrow of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.

Burhan announced a state of emergency, saying the armed forces needed to protect safety and security, but he promised to hold elections in July 2023 and hand over to an elected civilian government then.

“What the country is going through now is a real threat and danger to the dreams of the youth and the hopes of the nation,” he said.

Youths opposed to the coup barricaded streets as clashes broke out with troops.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said three people had died of wounds after being shot by soldiers and at least 80 people had been injured.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, an economist and former senior U.N. official, was detained and taken to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the takeover, the information ministry said.

The ministry, still loyal to Hamdok, urged resistance and said tens of thousands of people opposed to the takeover had taken to the streets and had faced gunfire near the military headquarters in Khartoum. Central bank employees announced a strike to reject the coup, the ministry said.

Troops had arrested civilian members of the Sovereign Council and government figures, the ministry said, adding: “We raise our voices loudly to reject this coup attempt.”

Also detained was the news director of state TV, his family said.

The U.S. State Department said Washington does not have anything to share on Hamdok’s whereabouts and condition. A department spokesman said it was pausing $700 million in economic support for Sudan.

In Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman, protesters barricaded streets and chanted in support of civilian rule.

“Burhan cannot deceive us. This is a military coup,” said a young man who gave his name as Saleh.

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