A civilian died on Saturday during protests in Omdurman, the twin city of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, state news agency SUNA and a doctors’ committee said.
SUNA said civilians and policemen were injured in the demonstrations, citing police reports. Thousands of protesters clashed with security forces near President Omar al-Bashir’s residence Khartoum on Saturday.
Security forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing demonstrators and tried to disperse the crowd, which had responded to a call by activists trying to increase pressure on Bashir to step down.
They waved Sudanese flags and chanted slogans demanding “freedom, peace and justice” as they gathered outside the gates of the compound, guarded by army soldiers, that also houses the defense ministry, army command and security headquarters.
By the evening, the clashes subsided as security forces pulled back, allowing the thousands still gathered to remain outside the compound. Witnesses said young demonstrators sang nationalist songs and danced for joy. Some said they would stay until Bashir stepped down.
Information Minister Hassan Ismail, who also serves as the government spokesman, praised security forces for the manner they handled the protests and said the government remained committed to dialogue to resolve the crisis.
“The approach followed by government apparatus was met with satisfaction from citizens,” Ismail said in a statement. “Sudanese blood is the most precious thing we need to preserve”.
Bashir has refused to step down, saying his opponents need to seek power through the ballot box.
“Today, we won and we are confident that the regime will fall,” said Mohamed Saleh, a 63-year-old university professor who estimated the crowd to be at more than 100,000 people.