Al-Jazeera Says Bureau Chief Detained by Sudanese Forces

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -
People protest in Khartoum, Sudan, Nov. 13. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

The Qatar-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera said Sunday its bureau chief in Sudan was detained by security forces, a day after mass protests across the country against last month’s military coup.

The network said that Sudanese forces raided the home of al-Musallami al-Kabbashi and detained him.

The development comes a day after security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters denouncing the military’s tightening grip on the country. At least five people were killed and several were wounded, according to activists.

Al-Jazeera did not elaborate on al-Kabbashi’s detention and Sudanese officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets across Sudan on Saturday to rally against the military coup last month. The takeover has drawn international criticism and massive protests in the streets of the capital Khartoum and elsewhere in the country.

The killings Saturday took place in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, and the dead included four killed by gunshots and one who died from a tear gas canister, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee. Several other protesters were wounded, including from gunshots, it said.

The rallies, called by the pro-democracy movement, came two days after coup leader Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan reappointed himself head of the Sovereign Council, Sudan’s interim governing body. Thursday’s move angered the pro-democracy alliance and frustrated the United States and other countries that have urged the generals to reverse their coup.

The pro-democracy movement condemned “the excessive use of force” against the protesters on Saturday. The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change said their struggle to establish a full civilian government “will not stop,” calling for mass demonstrations on Wednesday.

The Sudanese military seized power Oct. 25, dissolving the transitional government and arresting dozens of officials and politicians. The takeover upended a fragile planned transition to democratic rule, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government.