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The Latest: African Union official condemns Sudan violence

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KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — The Latest on the Sudanese military’s moves against a sit-in protest camp in the capital (all times local)

2:50 p.m.

The chairman of the African Union Commission is strongly condemning the violence in Sudan and urges the country’s Transitional Military Council “to protect the civilians from further harm.”

The statement released Monday by Moussa Faki Mahamat calls for an immediate and transparent investigation into the reported deaths and injuries.

Mahamat urges “utmost restraint” and calls for civilians’ rights to be respected. He urges international partners to “reinforce common efforts towards the immediate cessation of the violence.”

His statement also recalls an April communique by the continental body’s Peace and Security Council that urged all stakeholders to return to negotiations to reach an inclusive deal that “paves the way for a civilian-led Transitional Authority.”

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2:45 p.m.

Egypt’s national airline says it has canceled a flight to Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, amid an attack by security forces on a protest camp there, which protest leaders say has killed at least 13 people.

EgyptAir said in a statement that Monday’s flight has been canceled due to the events in Khartoum.

By mid-day, witnesses and protest leaders said security forces controlled almost the entire camp, and had cleared away the months-old sit-in that was demanding the military yield power.

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee has said security forces used live ammunition to clear the sit-in.

Earlier Monday, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry urged “both parties” to exercise restraint.

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1:30 p.m.

Germany is condemning violence in Sudan that has led to the deaths of more than a dozen protesters.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said Monday that Germany “is deeply worried about the latest developments in Khartoum” after security forces cleared a protest camp outside the army headquarters in Sudan’s capital.

The spokesman, Christofer Burger, said security forces “appeared to have used firearms and there were deaths and numerous injuries.”

Burger added: “Nothing justifies the violence and it must stop immediately. The violent clearance of the protest area greatly endangers the process of handing over governing powers to a civilian-led government.”

He said Germany supports the African Union and United Nations-led process, and called on the parties in Sudan to avoid further escalation and return to the negotiating table.

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1:00 p.m.

Egypt is calling on both the Sudanese military and protesters to exercise restraint amid an attack by security forces on a protest camp in the capital. Protest leaders say security forces have killed at least 13 people.

Monday’s statement by the Foreign Ministry urged “both parties” to return to negotiations in order to “achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people.”

In Sudan, protest leaders say they are suspending talks with the military regarding the creation of a transitional government.

The Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters in transition negotiations, called for an open general strike and civil disobedience, as well as for the international community “not to recognize the coup.”

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee has said the security forces used live ammunition to clear the sit-in.

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12:40 p.m.

Sudanese protest leaders say at least 13 people have been killed in the military’s assault on the sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. The protesters have announced they are suspending talks with the military regarding the creation of a transitional government.

The Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters in transition negotiations, said Monday that protesters are unable to evacuate “the bodies of our martyrs.” It said hundreds of people have also been wounded.

The leaders have called for an open general strike and civil disobedience, and for the international community “not to recognize the coup.”

The leading opposition Umma Party called for people to set up other sit-ins, both in the capital and across the country.

The party said the military’s raid showed that it is standing in the way of “the Sudanese revolution.”

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11:50 a.m.

Sudanese activists say an assault by security forces has almost completely cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

Hisham Shalbi, a protest leader, says the forces have pushed the protesters out of the site using live ammunition, tear gas and sticks.

“They now control the sit-in area. We are out and cannot get in,” he said.

Dura Gambo, another activist, confirmed the use of live bullets and said all entrances to the sit-in were closed off after troops dispersed the protesters.

Shams al-Deen al-Kabashi, spokesman for the military council, said in televised remarks that the military was targeting what it considers a problematic area near the sit-in, nicknamed “Colombia,” because of alleged criminal activity there.

He did not make clear if the military’s goal was to break up the entire sit-in camp, but said forces were moving to open blocked roads across the capital.

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11:40 a.m.

Sudanese protest organizers say the number of people killed in the military’s raid of a sit-in protest camp as risen to 9.

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee said Monday that the death toll is rising and has been difficult to count.

The group says more than 200 people are wounded, many by gunfire, and that medical personnel and injured people are trapped inside clinics in the sit-in area.

Troops have moved against the protest sit-in camp in Khartoum after a weeks-long standoff with demonstrators seeking a speedy transition to civilian rule following strongman Omar al-Bashir’s ouster in April.

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10:20 a.m.

The U.S. Embassy in Sudan is calling on Sudanese security forces to stop their “attacks against protesters and other civilians.”

The embassy said via Facebook that apparent attempts by Sudanese troops to move against a months-long protest camp in the capital are “wrong,” and that it holds the country’s Transitional Military Council responsible for the attacks.

The British ambassador in Sudan, Ifran Siddiq, says he is “extremely concerned by the heavy gunfire” he’d heard from his official home in Khartoum, as well as “reports that Sudanese security forces are attacking the protest sit-in site, resulting in casualties.”

“No excuse for any such attack,” he said via Twitter.

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10:15 a.m.

Sudan’s ruling military council confirms there have been clashes between troops and protesters in a sit-in area in the capital, Khartoum.

Shams al-Deen al-Kabashi, spokesman for the council, said in televised remarks that the military was targeting what it considers a problematic area near the sit-in, nicknamed “Colombia.” He said a number of people from that area then moved to the main protest site, and that the clashes had been between security forces and those people.

He did not make clear if the military’s goal was to break up the entire sit-in camp, but said forces are moving to open blocked roads across the capital.

In the same “Colombia” area, three people, including a woman, were killed by security forces in recent days.

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9:30 a.m.

Sudanese protest leaders say at least five people were killed as security forces moved against a protest sit-in camp in the capital, besieging the site and setting fire to tents.

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee said Monday that an unspecified but high number had been wounded. The group said medical personnel and injured people were trapped in clinics in the area, and demanded that they be allowed to leave.

Dura Gambo, an activist, said security forces “used the heavy rain yesterday and moved in the early morning to disperse people.”

The military’s push came after a weeks-long standoff with protesters seeking a speedy transition to civilian rule, following the April ouster of long-time strongman Omar al-Bashir.

Videos circulating online appeared to show protesters standing at low brick barricades in the street, then being driven back by walls of blue-clad security forces carrying sticks.

Other videos showed protesters running through streets lined with sit-in tents, heads down, as the sound of gunfire filled the air.

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6:25 a.m.

Explosions and heavy machine gun fire are being heard across the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and troops are blocking roads leading to a sit-in camp of protesters who have demanded transition to civilian rule.

An Associated Press journalist also saw smoke rising from the site in Khartoum as the raid went on early Monday morning.

The sit-in has lasted weeks as civilians and military officials argue over the makeup of a transitional government.

The military overthrew longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April after mass protests against his 30-year rule.

Protesters insist no elections should be held before three years so that civilian leaders can dissolve all social and political networks of al-Bashir’s old party and purge all state institutions.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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