Sudan soldier kills two on 'speeding rickshaw' during coronavirus curfew

Sudan soldier kills two on 'speeding rickshaw' during coronavirus curfew
Two people were killed after allegedly speeding past a military checkpoint during a strict round-the-clock curfew in the capital Khartoum.
2 min read
Nearly 100 people have died of the Covid-19 illness in Sudan [Getty]
A Sudanese soldier shot dead the occupants of a tuk-tuk that sped through a military checkpoint in Khartoum during a coronavirus curfew, the army said on Sunday.

"A speeding motorised rickshaw drove through a military checkpoint in Khartoum without stopping... at 9:00 pm" on Saturday evening, army spokesman Brigadier Amer Mohamed al-Hassan said in a brief statement.

"As they ignored instructions to stop, a soldier opened fire, injuring those aboard."

He said the two people in the vehicle were taken to hospital, where they later died.

The military's accounting of the fatal incident in the area of Abu Hamama, southern Khartoum, varies from that of Sudanese activists who said on social media that a man sitting outside of his house was the second, accidental victim of the shooting.

The shooting sparked angry protests overnight in the neighbourhood, according to local social media accounts.

The army apologised for Saturday evening's incident and said the soldier had been detained pending an investigation.

Since March, Sudan has imposed a state of emergency, shuttering schools and universities and almost completely sealing off its borders to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Authorities imposed a strict round-the-clock curfew in Khartoum for three weeks from April 18 to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, extending the curfew earlier this month for another 10 days.

The capital and its twin city Omdurman have a combined population of more than five million.

Sudan has reported 2,289 cases of the Covid-19 illness, including 97 deaths.

The country's dilapidated healthcare system is already strained by acute shortages of medicines and medical supplies. 

In April, healthcare workers briefly went on strike after coming under attack by the police while trying to treat Covid-19 patients. Doctors and other medical professionals have also reportedly been harassed by authorities for "breaking" the curfew while traveling to and from work.

The coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted strained tensions between the military and civilian components of Sudan's transitional government, which took power last year. 

Earlier this week, the military-led Sovereign Council reportedly attempted to fire Health Minister Akram Altoum, prompting threats of protest by leading activists.

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