At Least One Student Killed in Riots in Western Sudan
At least one student was killed and 14 others hurt during clashes with police in western Sudan amid suspicions they were fomented by a breakaway faction of the ruling party, reports said Tuesday.
The riot in Fashir, 800 kilometers (480 miles) west of here, erupted Monday when police tried to disperse students protesting the failure of schools to reopen and shortages in water and electricity.
The independent As-Sahafi Ad-Dawli, quoting a source in the office of the governor of North Darfur State, said a girl student was killed, 14 other students hurt, and the radio station and state customs building damaged.
Schools did not reopen amid delays in paying teacher salaries in cash-strapped Sudan.
The People's National Congress (PNC), headed by Islamist ideologue Hassan al-Turabi who broke ranks recently with President Omar al-Beshir, said in a statement a girl student and a teacher were among four people killed.
It added 13 protestors were injured.
Although the PNC did not make such an admission, there were unconfirmed reports that it was behind the riots.
Police spokesman Major General Abu Bakr Abdel Qadir blamed in a statement Tuesday a "hired group" he did not identify for inciting a group of students, "joined by peddlers and vagrants," to riot.
He added that the police have begun an investigation to find those behind the "agitation and sabotage."
Turabi declared in June he was forming a party to break away from the ruling National Congress (NC), crowning a split with General Beshir whom he helped seize power in a 1989 coup.
In a power struggle that burst into the open last December, Beshir declared a state of emergency and ousted Turabi as parliamentary speaker by dissolving parliament, days before it was to vote on curbing presidential powers.
In May, Beshir, who is also NC chairman, suspended Turabi as the National Congress party's secretary general after efforts at a compromise failed.
In another development, people in the North Kordofan State capital of Obeid set a military truck on fire after it struck a civilian on a bicycle who they believed was being chased in order to force him into military service.
Akhbar Al-Yom newspaper said the civilian was in a hospital where he was listed in stable condition following Monday's incident.
The daily quoted the national military service coordinator in North Kordofan, Abdel Moneim al-Turabi, as denying the victim was being sought for military service and that it was an "ordinary traffic accident." - KHARTOUM (AFP)
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