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At least 6 dead in Sudan as security forces open fire on protesters

AT LEAST six people, including an army officer, were killed in Sudan today after protesters said they came under attack from security agents loyal to former president Omar al-Bashir.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, part of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has led the protest movement, confirmed the deaths occurred during overnight attacks on a sit-in protest outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

Protesters have been gathering there for weeks as they demand an end to military rule and the transfer of power to civilians following the ousting of Mr Bashir last month.

SPA spokesman Ahmed Rabie said more than 200 people were wounded in the attack. The ruling military council confirmed that a senior army officer was killed, with three soldiers injured.

The violence took place after nightfall, a time at which numbers of protesters increase during the holy month of Ramadan as people come after breaking their fast.

The attacks came as negotiations with the military appeared to have broken the deadlock and agreed on the structure of a new administration.

Mr Rabie confirmed that negotiations were taking place today on the make-up of a transitional sovereign council, cabinet and legislative body, and on the duration of the transition. 

The opposition wants a four-year transitional period overseen by a civilian-led government. Sudan’s armed forces want to stay in power for at least two years before holding democratic elections.

It is believed that the demonstration came under fire from the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group that was seen in video footage clearing protesters who had set up roadblocks in Khartoum yesterday.

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