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Sudanese security forces deploy ahead of planned anti-coup protests

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Sudanese security forces have spread out around Khartoum and neighboring cities ahead of planned anti-coup protests, days after the resignation of the country’s civilian prime minister, witnesses said Tuesday.

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Streets leading to the army headquarters in central Khartoum were sealed off amid a heavy presence of riot police, paramilitary forces and army personnel, the witnesses said.

Pro-democracy activists have stepped up calls for protests against an October 25 military coup led by top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who detained then-prime minister Abdalla Hamdok and cabinet ministers.

The coup has triggered mass demonstrations and a violent crackdown that has so far left at least 57 dead and hundreds wounded. At least 13 women have been raped during the unrest.

On November 21, Burhan reinstated Hamdok in a deal promising elections in mid-2023. The protest movement slammed the deal as “betrayal” and has kept up street pressure.

Late Sunday, Hamdok announced that he was stepping down, saying he had tried to prevent the country “from sliding toward disaster” but that it was now at a “dangerous crossroads threatening its very survival.”

Pro-democracy activists have urged protesters to take to the streets Tuesday and to head to the presidential palace in Khartoum “until victory is achieved.”

Sudan has been navigating a fragile transition towards full civilian rule since the April 2019 ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir following an unprecedented wave of youth-led protests.

Burhan last month issued a decree allowing security forces to arrest individuals “over crimes related to the state of emergency,” effectively banning street protests.

Security forces are allowed to enter and search “any building or individual” and impose “surveillance of any property and facility.”

Since the coup, authorities have often blocked internet services and disrupted communication lines to prevent mass gatherings.

Read more:

Analysis: Hamdok resigning, Sudan’s future and need for international intervention

Sudan PM’s decision to resign throws country further into the abyss

Sudan’s PM announces resignation amid political deadlock

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US considering moving troops from Western Europe to Eastern Europe: NATO diplomat

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The United States is considering transferring some troops stationed in Western Europe to Eastern Europe in the coming weeks, a NATO diplomat told Reuters, amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

“This has to do with American troops that are already in Europe,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirming a New York Times report that said US President Joe Biden was considering sending US troops to the Baltics and Eastern European allies.

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NATO said on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, in what Russia denounced as an escalation of tensions over Ukraine.

The diplomat said the potential troop movements would be gradual and that any filling of NATO gaps on its eastern flank could take place in the coming weeks.

Read more: From Kyiv, top US diplomat warns Russia against Ukraine aggression

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Several wounded in shooting in German city; gunman dead

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A lone gunman wounded several people at a lecture theater in the southwestern German city of Heidelberg on Monday, police said.

Police said in a brief statement that the perpetrator was dead, but didn’t give details of how that happened. They had earlier asked people on Twitter to avoid the Neuenheimer Feld area of Heidelberg, where the city’s university campus is located.

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Police didn’t specify how many people were wounded, or how seriously, and there was no information on their identities or that of the suspected shooter. The university’s press office declined to give any details on the shooting and referred all inquiries to police.

German news agency dpa cited unidentified security sources as saying that the gunman killed himself.

Police said the weapon used in the shooting was a long-barreled firearm.

Heidelberg is located south of Frankfurt and has about 160,000 inhabitants. Its university is one of Germany’s best-known.

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Aramco CEO says oil demand nearing pre-pandemic levels: Report

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Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Al Nasser said that the demand for oil is nearing pre-pandemic levels, Asharq Business reported in a tweet on Monday.

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Saudi Aramco signs 50 agreements during IKTVA conference

Saudi Aramco to establish presence in China to focus on non-metals in construction

EIG-led investors in Aramco oil pipelines hire banks for dual-tranche bonds

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