|Sudan protests over fuel prices turn deadly||
Two people have been killed in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in riots sparked by the lifting of government fuel subsidies, police and the family of one of the victims said.
The latest deaths brought to three the number of people who have died since demonstrations erupted in central Sudan on Monday before spreading to the capital.
Protests that began late on Tuesday in Khartoum lasted until dawn on Wednesday, an AFP correspondent said. Demonstrators set a university building and several petrol stations on fire and blocked the main road to the airport near the Rotana luxury hotel, witnesses said on Wednesday.
A Reuters reporter saw police fire tear gas volleys into the crowd, while hundreds of officers and plainclothes security agents armed with guns or batons rushed to the city centre. Others were sitting on the roof of government buildings. Police detained some 20 protesters who were driven away in pickup trucks, a witness said..
“Most areas in Khartoum saw unrest and unauthorized gatherings aimed at damaging property and allowing looting, necessitating police intervention,” a police statement said.
On Monday, the government announced steep price rises for petroleum products after suspending subsidies in a bid to reform the economy.
President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday the subsidies had reached “a level that is dangerous for the economy”. Oil prices at the pump have shot up to 20.80 Sudanese pounds ($4.71) a gallon from 12.50 pounds ($2.83), while diesel has risen from 8.50 pounds a gallon to 13.90 pounds. Inflation in Sudan is already running at 40 percent.
Sudan lost billions of dollars in oil receipts when South Sudan gained independence two years ago, taking with it about 75 percent of the formerly united country's crude production. Since then Sudan has been plagued by inflation, a weakened currency and a severe shortage of dollars to pay for imports.
(Source: Al Jazeera)
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