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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 January, 2005, 16:40 GMT
Protesters die in Sudan clashes
Up to 17 people have been killed in clashes between police and demonstrators in eastern Sudan.

Security forces are said to have opened fire after protesters demanding greater autonomy for the local Beja community began rioting in Port Sudan.

More than a dozen people were wounded and a curfew has now been imposed.

Correspondents say that other parts of Sudan are reviewing relations with Khartoum, after the peace deal between the government and southern rebels.

The provincial governor, Maj Gen Hatim al-Wasilah al-Sammani, said protesters were on their way to discuss their demands with tribal leaders when violence broke out, AFP news agency reported.

"Instead of coming for the meeting, they staged riots in which shops were looted and cars were burned, and they engaged in clashes with the riot police and security men, who at first used batons and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and then they had to use firearms," AFP quoted Gen Sammani as saying.

Members of eastern tribes - mainly Beja - presented a list of demands to the governor three days ago, including greater wealth and power sharing, Reuters news agency reported.

The Beja also want the government to recognise the Beja Congress as the only representative of the people of eastern Sudan, reports say.


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