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Police Shoot Rioting Students; Two Dead, Six Hurt

December 7, 1989

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ Riot police opened fire on Khartoum University students protesting Sudan’s military government, killing two people, the official Omdurman Radio said Thursday.

The campus remained tense but peaceful after Wednesday’s violence, but truckloads of police were stationed nearby.

The trouble grew out of protests over a student’s fatal stabbing by another student, allegedly in a fight over campus elections won by Moslem fundamentalists. Police used tear gas to break up those demonstrations Tuesday just outside the campus.

Hundreds later joined the reassembled protesters, chanting anti-government slogans, throwing stones and bricks at riot police, and blocking roads.

After a night of trouble, police intervened again Wednesday with tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the group. They chased protesters onto the campus, where students said 15 people were arrested.

Windshields were broken in several police vehicles during a running battle between police and protesters.

Radio Omdurman quoted an Interior Ministry statement saying riot police opened fire on more than 600 demonstrators ″in response to students armed with knives and revolvers.″

It said al-Taya Ahmed Abu-Agla, a woman studying at the school of education, and arts student Salim Mohamed Abu Bakker were killed, and six other students were injured.

The Interior Ministry said police intervened because the demonstration called to protest the earlier student’s death ″took a political color.″

Monday’s fight at Khartoum University flared over student union elections. A student from the winning Islamic Trend, which supports the disbanded fundamentalist National Islamic Front, allegedly stabbed to death a follower of the Democratic Students Alliance that backs other dissolved political parties.

The National Islamic Front is thought to be close to the government, which took power in a June 30 military coup.

Khartoum University students were among the first to stage demonstrations that led to the April 1985 civilian uprising that overthrew Gaafar Nimeiri, Sudan’s last military dictator. Demonstrations at the university likewise marked the first civilian opposition to independent Sudan’s first military government, which yielded power in 1964.

The current rulers, led by Lt. Gen. Omar el-Bashir, dissolved all political parties after seizing power from Prime Minister Sadek el-Mahdi.

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