KHARTOUM (AFP) - A Sudanese vendor died Sunday (Feb 17) after riot police fired tear gas at an anti-government rally in the capital, medics said, as protesters pressed on with a campaign against President Omar al-Bashir's rule.
Scores of protesters took to the streets in Khartoum's northern suburb of Bahari chanting anti-government slogans, but they were quickly confronted by riot police.
A vendor selling fruit in Bahari died in hospital after inhaling tear gas fired by riot police to disperse the rally, a medic, relatives and a doctors' committee linked to the protest campaign said.
"He was brought to hospital but doctors were unable to save him. He died from inhaling tear gas," the medic said, without revealing his own name for security reasons.
Protesters chanted "freedom, peace, justice," as they rallied in Bahari, witnesses said.
"We will not give up. We will continue protesting," said Afra, a female protester who gave only her first name for security reasons.
"When we keep on demonstrating, more and more people will join us."
Witnesses said small demonstrations also took place in other districts of the capital, and that police arrested several protesters.
Deadly clashes during protests have rocked the east African country since December 19 after a government decision to triple the price of bread.
The demonstrations quickly escalated into nationwide rallies against Bashir's iron-fisted rule, with protesters calling for him to resign after three decades in power.
Officials say 31 people have died in protest-related violence so far, while Human Rights Watch says at least 51 have been killed.
Bashir has remained defiant, insisting that the only way to change the government is through the ballot box.
Sudan is to hold a presidential election in 2020, and Bashir is considering running for a third elected term.