Sudanese official says 14 killed in Darfur protest


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KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — A senior Sudanese security official said 14 people were killed during last week's protests in Western Darfur, but denied that police were responsible.

In remarks published by the pro-government Al-Sudani daily on Saturday, Police Chief Atif Fadul said 13 civilians and six policemen were wounded in the protests, which took place in front of and inside the governor's office on Jan. 10. Those figures are the first official toll to emerge from the unrest.

The African Union has expressed concern over "continued tension" in and around the town of Genaina in Western Darfur after residents of Mouli, near the border with Chad, staged a demonstration against an assault by a militia group on their village. The militia's affiliation is not clear.

Fadul said police showed restraint. Sudanese security forces have violently dispersed protests in the past.

Darfur was gripped by bloodshed since 2003 when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. Some 300,000 people were killed and 2 million displaced during the government's harsh response to the armed rebellion.

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