Sudan sees third day of protests over economic reform



Sudanese protestors demonstrate in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman after the government announced steep price rises for petroleum products after suspending state subsidies as part of crucial economic reforms on September 25, 2013.



Riots and clashes in Sudan have continued into their third day on Wednesday over the termination of fuel subsidies.

Gas stations were torched and buildings smashed as rioters demanded the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Police fired tear gas to break up the demonstrators, with clashes continuing into Wednesday night.

There have been at least six deaths since the riots started three days ago.

The Sudanese government has said that the riots were "premeditated."

Sudan has cut oil subsidies after losing its main oil-producing territory, South Sudan, which became an independent state in 2011.

The lifting of fuel subsidies is part of larger economic reforms for the troubled country.

Earlier attempts to cut the subsidies sparked similar protests that were brutally repressed, said the Associated Press.

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Internet access was cut in Sudan on Wednesday morning amid the riots.

It is unclear if the government is to blame, as past instances of internet failure have been due to technical issues.

However, the Washington Post reported an intelligence analyst stating that the outage has “involved multiple distinct Internet service providers at the same time is consistent with a centrally coordinated action."

The government blamed the rioters themselves for the shut down.

“The rioters targeted Canar [a Sudanese telecom firm], gas stations and malls and they burned lots of places and this is one of the places,” the spokesman told Time.

“This company is the core place of the Internet.”

Time magazine reported Wednesday evening [Sudan time] that internet had been restored in the country.

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"If confirmed to be government-directed, this outage would be the largest government-directed Internet blackout since Egypt in January 2011," Doug Madory at the internet intelligence corporation Renesys, told the Washington Post.