Several killed in anti-coup mass protests in Sudan

Witnesses and medics say that several protesters have been killed in the mass demonstrations across cities in Sudan – protests against last month's military coup.

Huge crowds have reportedly defied tear gas and gunfire.

In the capital, witnesses say security forces moved in to disperse the protesters as soon as they began to gather on Saturday afternoon.

On a hospital bed, this protester told us he knew the risk.

"People shouldn't stop," he's saying, and despite his injuries he plans to rejoin the protests. He's ready to be "a martyr," and said his goodbyes before he left home.

Back on the street, this protester says for decades Sudan has been so "backward" compared to the rest of the world. "Civilian democratic rule is the only way" for our country to advance.

The reports of fast reaction from security forces may be a sign that authorities are stepping up their efforts to squash protests and civil disobedience. Previously they'd waited until later in the day before moving in on the crowds.

And a doctors group, which is aligned with the protests, says that in one city security forces stormed a hospital, beating the staff and arresting injured protesters there.

Sudanese police say they haven't used firearms in the protests, and that it began peacefully before turning violent. They say dozens of police were also injured and police stations attacked.

The army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan denies this is a coup, and says the army intervened because of political turmoil and to safeguard the transition to democracy.

Also in Sudan:

The Al Jazeera TV network says its Sudan bureau chief was arrested in a night raid on his home. The news outlets says no reason was given to it for the arrest, and is demanding his release.

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