|Date: Dec 21, 2018|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|Six protesters killed in Sudan price hike rallies|
KHARTOUM: At least six protesters were killed in eastern Sudan and hundreds took to the streets of the capital as rallies over soaring prices spread across the country Thursday, witnesses and officials said.
One of the dead, a student, died during violent protests in Al-Qadarif, the city’s MP, Mubarak al-Nur, said. Later, police fired tear gas at around 500 people in Khartoum, some of them calling for the overthrow of the government.
Further north, in Dongola, protesters set fire to the local offices of President Omar al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party, witnesses said. To the northeast, protesters hiding their faces behind scarves came out for a second day in Atbara, chanting “freedom,” video footage showed. Car tires were set alight.
Public anger has been building over price rises, inflation and other hardships - including a doubling in the cost of bread this year and limits on bank withdrawals.
The latest violence erupted in Atbara Wednesday, where local authorities declared a state of emergency after crowds set fire to the ruling party’s office there.
Sudan’s economy has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output - its main source of foreign currency - since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking most of the oilfields.