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Sudanese health officials dispute military junta's death toll

SUDANESE health officials today disputed the country’s death toll following deadly attacks by paramilitary gangs on peaceful protesters demanding an end to military rule.

Undersecretary of Health Soliman Abdel Gabbar claimed 61 people have died since the deadly crackdown began on Monday.

The opposition claim at least 108 people have been killed.

Mr Gabbar also said yesterday that 52 people have been killed in the capital Khartoum over the last three days with two corpses pulled from the Nile river.

On Wednesday the Sudanese Doctors’ Central Committee, a group associated with the protesters, said 40 bodies had been retrieved from the Nile with reports of possibly dozens more.

The doctors’ committee also said three children – shot inside their own homes in front of their mother – were among the 108 killed.

Violent clashes have erupted across the country following attempts to clear a sit-in protest outside the military headquarters in Khartoum by the feared paramilitary group Rapid Security Forces (RSF).

Thousands had been gathered there for weeks, demanding the military council hand over power to civilian authority after Islamist ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April.

Protesters remain on the streets after the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) asked people to block main roads and bridges to “paralyse public life” across the country in retaliation for the crackdown.

The African Union (AU) said it will impose “punitive sanctions” if Sudan’s ruling military council does not hand over power to a civilian-led transitional authority following its suspension of the country from all AU activities.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Sudan today to talk to the military council and protest leaders despite pledging “non-interference” last week.

The Sudanese Communist Party warned  earlier this week of attempts to derail the “peaceful revolution.”

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