Hit in his own office: Sudan man's anger at protest shooting

Hit in his own office: Sudan man's anger at protest shooting
Demonstrators gather at Kalakla Market during a protest against a cut in fuel subsidies in south Khartoum.

KHARTOUM - A Sudanese personnel officer angrily recalls how he was in his Khartoum office when two stray bullets crashed into his left arm last month as security forces confronted protesters.

He says he had just taken a toilet break when the bullets slammed into the office compound, providing a rare account from among the hundreds of people whom human rights monitors say were wounded in the protests sparked by rising fuel prices.

Dozens were killed and hundreds of people, including opposition activists as well as protesters, detained. Journalists complained of worsening censorship, restricting the chance for victims' voices to be heard.

"I am in my office and I'm shot. I am very angry about that," said the human resources officer, who is in his 40s and asked not to be identified.

Thousands took to the streets after President Omar al-Bashir on September 23 slashed fuel subsidies.

One small demonstration broke out near the man's Khartoum office. He went outside to have a look but decided it would be best to stay inside until things calmed down.

He said he saw about 60 to 70 demonstrators who were burning tyres in the main street and had damaged traffic signals and street lights.

Police, militia and state security agents were armed with rifles and a truck-mounted gun, the man said.

They were firing, intermittently, "in all directions" but not directly at the protesters, he said.

"They wanted to scare them," he said, adding that he witnessed the gunfire before returning to his office.

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