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Student protest turns violent in Sudan

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Security forces have used tear gas to disperse a crowd of university students in Khartoum protesting high food prices.

Sudanese university students armed with sticks and stones on Wednesday staged perhaps their largest protest since unrest sparked by inflation began nearly a month ago.

"Compared to other demonstrations it's... bigger," said a witness who asked not to be identified.

With protesters scattered around the central campus, it was hard to determine their numbers, the witness said.

"I think it's more than 100,"he added.

After President Omar al-Bashir announced austerity measures, including tax hikes and an end to cheap fuel, scattered protests across the country spread to include a cross-section of people around the capital and in other parts of Sudan.

Protesters are also calling for an end to Bashir's 23-year regime.

Bashir has played down the demonstrations as small-scale and not comparable to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere, maintaining that he himself remains popular.

He dismissed opposition calls for a popular uprising in the African country, saying only "a burning hot summer" awaits his enemies.

"They talk of an Arab Spring, let me tell them that in Sudan we have a hot summer, a burning hot summer that burns its enemies," Bashir said in a live address on Wednesday while inaugurating a sugar factory in central Sudan.

In his speech, Bashir said that any company from a country boycotting Sudan should be denied contracts, be it in the public or private sector.

"Why should we allow them to make a profit?" he said in a live broadcast on state radio.

"There shall be no dealing with any company whose country boycotts the Sudan."


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