(Bloomberg) -- Sudanese doctors accused security forces of firing tear gas and ammunition around hospitals, the latest alleged attacks on health facilities in almost a month of protests against long-time President Omar al-Bashir.
Authorities used tear gas around hospitals in Bahri, part of greater Khartoum, and Madani, a southeastern city, on Sunday, the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate said in a statement. It came less than a week after security officers were accused of storming a hospital in Omdurman, a twin city of the capital, firing live bullets and teargas as they pursued protesters seeking treatment for gunshot injuries.
The security forces’ actions are “an unprecedented breach of international agreements and total disregard of the sanctity of hospitals, health-care providers and above all the sick and wounded,” the doctors’ syndicate said.
Widespread discontent with soaring living costs has fueled a wave of protests that’s posed one of the greatest challenges to al-Bashir, 75, since he took control of the North African nation in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup. Demonstrations have roiled towns and cities across Africa’s third-biggest country since about Dec. 19. Authorities say at least 24 people have been killed.
Neither police nor Health Ministry spokesmen answered calls seeking comment on the doctors’ statement. Khartoum state’s health chief, Mamoun Humeda, said last week he’s forming a committee to investigate the Jan. 9 attack on the Omdurman hospital.
The syndicate also said more than 12 doctors have been unlawfully detained without charge since Dec. 25, calling on the government to immediately release them and safeguard medical facilities.
The World Health Organization on Saturday expressed its concern over a hospital attack, describing it as a “direct violation of medical neutrality and human-rights principles.”
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