Professors arrested in Sudan

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Security forces arrested 14 professors gathering to protest outside Khartoum University witnesses said, as anti-government demonstrations neared the end of their eighth week.

Doctors rallied outside state and private hospitals in Sudan’s capital and other cities against the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, witnesses added.

Union members, students, opposition activists and others, frustrated with economic hardships, staged near daily protests since December 19, in the most sustained challenge to Bashir’s three decades in power.

Photos posted online showed people holding banners reading “Freedom, justice and peace”, “No to torturing and killing protesters” and other slogans.

Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed in protests since they began, while government puts the death toll at 31.

Bashir blames the unrest on unnamed foreign powers and shows no signs of bowing to demands to quit. He and some senior officials adopted a more conciliatory tone in recent weeks and promised to free detained protesters.