The Sudanese Professionals Association has urged the public to increase protests and block streets and bridges until the military hands over rule of the country to civil society. EPA-EFE/STRINGER
June 3, 2019 (UPI) -- Sudanese security forces used live ammunition Monday to break up a sit-in protest against military rule, killing at least nine people and wounding several others, officials said.
The Sudanese Professionals Association referred to the attack
بعد المجزرة التي ارتكبها المجلس العسكري بحق المعتصمين السلميين وسقوط ثلاث شهداء وعدد من الجرحى لم يتم حصرهم حتي الآن.
٣ يونيو ٢٠١٩#مجزره_القياده_العامه— تجمع المهنيين السودانيين (@AssociationSd) June 3, 2019 " target="_blank">via Twitter as a "massacre," stating that Sudanese security forces opened fire on protesters in front of the Defense Ministry in the capital Khartoum at 5 a.m. Troops from the Rapid Support Forces under orders from the ruling Transitional Military Council first used tear gas to disperse protesters then used a sound grenade to disperse protesters. Then, they fired live rounds into the crowd to disperse those that remained in central Khartoum.
"They are now in control of most of the sit-in area and have burnt down the make-shift clinics," journalist Mohammed Alamin told Al Jazeera. "Most of the protesters have been dispersed. Soldiers are blocking all entrances to the area with military vehicles to stop protesters from returning."
The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors wrote in a Facebook post that nine people had died.
Protests demanding that rule of Sudan be handed over to civil society have been staged out front of the ministry since April. The military then ended dictator Omar al-Bashir's 30 years at the country's helm in a military coup later that month, but protests persist demanding the country be immediately handed over to the people.
The military has since created a Transitional Military Council in order to facilitate the handing over of power, which it said could take up to three years.
The opposition SPA took to Twitter during the attack Friday to appeal to humanitarian organizations, urging them to "intervene to help the patients trapped in the picket square, in their homes and in some hospitals" surrounded by security forces.
The opposition also called on Sudanese citizens to take to the streets in protest.
"Go out in marches and block all streets and bridges in order to protect the revolution," the SPA said on its website. "SPA and allies also call for a general disobedience until the Transitional Military Council is toppled."
Witnesses said the soldiers are heavily armed and were attacking peaceful protesters who did nothing to provoke the attack.
"They were shooting at every one randomly and people were running for their lives," witness Mohammed Elmunir said. "They blocked all roads and most tents at the sit-in have been set on fire."
SPA said in a statement that the TMC would be held accountable for the deaths.
"It is imperative to go out to the streets to protect the revolution and the remaining dignity," the group said. "Our weapons are peace, courage."
British Ambassador to Sudan Irfan Siddiq said on Twitter to condemn the attack on the protesters.
"Extremely concerned by the heavy gunfire I've been hearing over the last hour from my residence and reports that Sudanese security forces are attacking the protest sit-in site resulting in casualties," he said. "No excuse for any such attack. This. Must. Stop. Now."