Protest groups demanding a return to democratic rule have said they are organizing an indefinite campaign of sit-ins and other peaceful actions in response to the loss of life.
Medics who joined the protesters said nine people were mostly killed as a result of shelling by security forces in Khartoum and the surrounding towns of Omdurman and Bahri. Sudan’s ruling council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The sit-in may develop, but we must strengthen it properly,” al-Reda al-Rashid told Reuters as he stood with other protesters, drinking tea and writing slogans in central Khartoum on Friday.
“Those who come from Omdurman can join our sit-in, and other residents of nearby areas can also join.”
Thursday’s rallies come after more than eight months of demonstrations against the military leaders who staged a coup last October, ending a power-sharing deal with civilians reached after Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019.
Khartoum state police said in a statement that they fired tear gas and water cannons and made arrests on Thursday after protesters armed with rocks and metal bars moved against their positions.
The statement said that dozens of members of the security forces were injured, some of them seriously. Police said they had not received reports of the six dead, a clear reference to an earlier estimate of the death toll from Thursday.
A medical group – the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors – said on Friday that another protester beaten during demonstrations in the capital a week earlier had died from his injuries, raising the death toll of protesters since the coup to 113.
Human rights activists said at least 150 protesters were detained on Thursday. The military-led government has not released its own estimates of arrests or deaths.
The United Nations, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Organization for Development (IGAD), which are trying to mediate, said they “condemned the use of excessive force by security forces in the strongest possible terms” on Thursday.
“We once again call on the authorities to take all necessary measures to end the violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and to respect the right to freedom of expression and assembly,” the joint statement said.