26 Sep 2013

Fuel subsidy cuts spark deadly clashes

8:48 pm on 26 September 2013

At least 24 people have been killed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in clashes sparked by cuts in fuel subsidies, medical sources say.

The director of Omdurman hospital told the BBC his staff had seen 21 bodies. Three others died at another hospital.

The unrest began on Monday, when the government lifted fuel subsidies to raise revenue. Sudan's economy has been in trouble since South Sudan ceded in 2011.

Osama Mortada, of Omdurman hospital, told the BBC 21 people sent to his hospital had died, and about 80 were injured.

"All have gunshot wounds, some in the chest," he said.

Also on Wednesday, sources at Khartoum Bahari hospital told the BBC that the facility had received three bodies "shot by live bullets earlier today".

Groups of anti-government demonstrators set fire to a university building and several petrol stations in Khartoum. They blocked a main road to the airport and burnt a number of cars, witnesses say.

The Sudanese government's latest austerity measures have almost doubled fuel prices and hit the poor hardest, the BBC reported.

Sudan had experienced an oil-fuelled economic boom until South Sudan became independent, taking 75% of its oil reserves.