By Khalid Abdelaziz
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Huge crowds of Sudanese protesters demonstrating against military rule advanced up to the gates of the presidential palace in central Khartoum on Monday, despite facing heavy tear gas and stun grenades, a Reuters reporter said.
One protester was killed by a gunshot to the head during parallel protests in neighbouring Omdurman, and dozens were injured in Khartoum, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.
Protesters have been marching on the presidential palace frequently since an Oct. 25 coup that ended a civilian-military power-sharing arrangement that was meant to lead to democratic elections. At least 84 people have been killed in security crackdowns.
There was no immediate comment from the military or the police.
Monday represents only the second time since the coup that protesters had been able to reach the palace gates, a site that demonstrations in Sudan have historically targeted.
They began retreating before sunset and some were chased into side streets by security forces, a Reuters reporter said.
On Sunday, resistance committees organising the protests announced a political charter aimed at unifying civilian political forces. Protesters could be seen carrying banners in support of the charter and distributing copies.
Security forces had fired tear gas, some coloured red or yellow, as well as stun grenades and red-coloured liquid, as they attempted to stop protesters more than a kilometre away from the palace, a Reuters witness said. Several unconscious protesters were driven away on motorcycles.
About an hour after reaching the palace, protesters faced a new round of tear gas and stun grenades and the sound of gunshots could be heard.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, additional reporting and writing by Nafisa Eltahir; editing by Aidan Lewis and Bill Berkrot)