KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudanese police killed at least 50 people this week, often "shooting to kill" when they moved to quell angry protests over the government's cut of fuel subsidies, two rights groups said, as youth activists called for new demonstrations after Friday prayers.
Hundreds of Sudanese activists, protesters, students and members of opposition parties have also been arrested amid the violence, according to a joint statement late Thursday by the two groups, Amnesty International and the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies.
Anti-government protests first broke out in the town of Wad Madani south of Sudan's capital, then spread to Khartoum and seven other cities in the country's east after President Omar al-Bashir's announcement last Sunday of new austerity measures, including the lifting of subsidies, a move that instantly almost doubled prices on fuel products.
Al-Bashir's announcement set off riots, with angry protesters torching police and gas stations, as well as setting fire to government buildings. Hundreds of students, meanwhile, marched in the streets, chanting anti-government slogans and calling for al-Bashir's ouster.