Sept. 25 - Sudan rioters torch cars and petrol stations as a fuel subsidy is cut in the biggest wave of public anger at the government in over a year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Several protesters were killed in clashes with security forces during demonstrations against a cut in fuel subsidies, medics and relatives said. The protests, into a third day, in and around the Sudanese capital Khartoum were continuing as night fell. Plumes of black smoke sprang up around the horizon as security forces fired teargas to disperse the biggest display of public anger against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government in over a year. Internet access was cut off all over Sudan after activists began sharing images of the unrest on social media, although the cause of the outage was not immediately clear. Despite this, images from Kidintakar radio station became available, which showed scenes from around Khartoum. One video clip, showed protesters at a petrol station in the Omdurman district of Khartoum, which tallied with developments although the exact date of this video, believed to be September 24, was yet to be confirmed. Bashir has avoided the mass demonstrations that unseated rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen and led to civil wars in Libya and Syria, but discontent has been simmering against corruption and soaring prices. Mobs set fire to a university building and several petrol stations in Khartoum. They blocked a main road to the airport near the luxury Rotana hotel, used by diplomats and businessmen, and torched several cars in the parking lot, witnesses said. A Reuters reporter saw police fire volleys of teargas grenades 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. Agents detained some 20 protesters, who were driven away in pickup trucks. There was no immediate comment from the authorities on the unrest.