Sudanese protesters clash with police

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Journalists have repeatedly been attacked while working in Sudan At least six people have been killed as armed protests break out in Sudan and a journalist is arrested….

Sudanese protesters clash with police

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Journalists have repeatedly been attacked while working in Sudan

At least six people have been killed as armed protests break out in Sudan and a journalist is arrested.

Demonstrators are fighting security forces in the city of Atbara, where President Omar al-Bashir is attending a rally in his southern stronghold.

President Bashir was due to face rival tribal leaders from Darfur and Blue Nile states in his final rally before elections in December.

The BBC’s Will Ross reports that protests are taking place in dozens of cities.

Our correspondent says there is some loss of life, and some political factions are using the situation to get their supporters to the streets.

More than one million people have been displaced by fighting in Darfur. The country’s oil wealth is feared to be out of reach to local people and that resentment is behind many of the recent demonstrations.

There are also fears that there could be a repeat of demonstrations seen earlier this year.

‘Bashir getting away with murder’

Mr Bashir’s National Congress Party – who are riding high in opinion polls set for early December – took to the streets after dark and shouted: “This is victory time. Bashir will stay, he will live and he will die!”

Reporters Without Borders says there has been a “wave of harassment” of media organisations, including Al Jazeera – the only international channel based in Sudan – as well as the Ekhlas television station.

Al Jazeera operations director Mark Britnell says the government does not permit media coverage of events in Sudan, which is the Arab world’s last absolute monarch and the only one in the Middle East, Bensouda said that because the Sudanese authorities had denied journalists visas, it was impossible to ascertain the true scope of the situation.

Image copyright AFP Image caption President Bashir was making his final victory speech before elections in December

Al Jazeera will re-open on Thursday, it added.

“We believe that in light of the situation in Sudan, these latest arrests are simply further proof that President Bashir is getting away with murder, no matter how often he speaks on the floor of parliament,” the network said in a statement.

Al Jazeera says its correspondent Ahmed Barzah was arrested on Tuesday night as he reported from the festival in the port city of al-Obeid in the country’s north-west.

The network said he had not caused any damage during the protests but the government claims he was in possession of material that could endanger state security.

Worshipers call for extra safeguards

Doctors, lawyers and church leaders have called for extra safeguards at national celebrations in December for Mr Bashir’s 82nd birthday.

He has been in power since 1989.

The protesters are also demanding that the president relinquish power, and have vowed to continue protests throughout the country, our correspondent says.

Eighty-seven-year-old Bashir has previously announced he would not stand in the elections – but he said this week he would stand again.

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