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Dozens reported dead in Sudan protests

By CNN Staff
September 27, 2013 -- Updated 2200 GMT (0600 HKT)
Sudanese protesters throw stones at a gas station in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on Wednesday.
Sudanese protesters throw stones at a gas station in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Two advocacy groups say "at least 50" were shot to death Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Protesters are angry about gasoline price hikes
  • Government accuses protesters of attacking gas stations and Internet service providers

(CNN) -- Clashes in Sudan between protesters and police about rising gasoline prices have left dozens dead, according to protest groups and the Sudanese government. Demonstrators have been calling for President Omer Hassan Ahmed Albashir to step down.

The violence has stretched for six days, triggered by anger over government economic policies that led to the gas price hikes, which went into effect on Monday.

Learning details about the clashes has been difficult. Sky News and Al Arabiya have been shut down, the Internet has been slow and access to hospitals is limited. Protesters count the number of dead at more than 100, while the government puts the toll at 29.

The New York-based African Center for Justice and Peace Studies and London-based Amnesty International websites said that at least 50 protesters were killed Tuesday and Wednesday after "being shot in the chest or head" by Sudanese security forces.

The government accuses protesters of attacking public services such as gas stations and a company that provides access to the Internet.

Police presence in the capital Khartoum has been noticeably heavy in the wake of the unrest.

Related story: Student protester shot to death

For more than a month the nation has been debating policies aimed at getting Sudan's economic house in order.

Toward that goal, the Sudanese government lifted its subsidy on gas -- leading to prices nearly doubling overnight when the policy took effect early this week.

That's had a trickle-down effect on other expenses as well, such as bus fares, and it's expected to lead to a major uptick in food prices over the coming weeks.

Journalist Isma'il Kushkush reported for CNN from Sudan. CNN's Kevin Wang contributed to this report.

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