A Sudanese protester gestures near burning tyres used to erect a barricade on a street, demanding that the country's Transitional Military Council handover power to civilians, in Khartoum. Picture: Reuters

Moscow - The death toll from the violent dispersal of the sit-in protest in Khartoum has reached 60 people, the opposition Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the CCSD reports indicated that the number of those killed in the crackdown, carried out by the military on Monday, rose from 35 to 50.

"Ten more people died from bullets of soldiers of the Military Council ​​​... Thus, the total number of those killed reached 60," the CCSD wrote on Facebook.

Protesters were rallying outside the army headquarters in Khartoum since April 6 to force the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to a civilian body. The military moved in to break up the sit-in on Monday, firing at the protesters.

The TMC, however, maintains that the security forces' operation was not aimed against peaceful protesters but was instead targeting criminals who infiltrated the ranks of demonstrators.

Following the crackdown, TMC head Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, in a televised address to the nation, called for holding general election in the country within nine months and announced the termination of talks with the opposition. He also said that an interim government would be created to rule the country until the election.

Sudan has been experiencing months of anti-government protests, which culminated in a military coup on April 11. The TMC came to power and pledged to hold a new election within two years. Then-President Omar Bashir, who had been in power for 30 years, was overthrown and then imprisoned. However, the protests have continued, with the demonstrators demanding that the military hand power to a new civilian government.

Sputnik