Water shortage sparks protest in Sudan

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Khartoum -

One person was killed on Sunday in the Sudanese capital as police fired teargas to disperse a demonstration over water shortages, police and witnesses said.

Hundreds of residents of southern Khartoum took to the streets after repeated cuts in drinking water supply to the area, blocking off a main road with rocks and tree branches, witnesses said.

Police said they intervened to disperse the crowds and re-open the road in the Mayo district.

“One person suffered from (teargas) inhalation and later died,” they said in a statement.

A witness, who declined to be named, told AFP the police fired teargas and “beat up the protesters with clubs”.

Hanan Omar Jadallah, a demonstrator, said that men, women and children took part.

“The police fired teargas at us and the smoke even went inside our homes,” she said.

Several areas of Khartoum have been hit by water cuts for the past month, a situation exacerbated by rising summer temperatures.

President Omar al-Bashir earlier this year called for a political and economic renaissance in Sudan, which is ravaged by war, poverty and political turmoil.

His call to engage politicians in a national dialogue came after the government last September slashed fuel subsidies, sparking huge street protests.

Amnesty said more than 200 demonstrators were killed as security forces crushed the protests, but the government gave a toll of less than 100. - Sapa-AFP

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