Sudanese authorities have admitted that the death toll from the latest widespread protests in Sudan reached 70 instead of the 34 declared last week.
The governor of Khartoum state, Mr Abdulrahman Al Khidr at a political symposium on Tuesday said this figure is based on health ministry reports. Many local, regional and international human rights organisations including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch estimated that the number of those killed exceeded 200 people.
The protests were prompted by government austerity measures that have seen the removal of fuel subsidies.
The Sudanese Minister of Interior had last week told journalist in Khartoum that the number of those killed by security forces was 34.
The Khartoum governor, however, reiterated the accusation that Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels were involved in the killing of the peaceful demonstrators. “They misled those young people by tricky speeches and pushed them to burn tyres and create a lot of disturbance,” he said.
The government has reportedly freed more than 300 of 700 detained in the demonstrations. The trial of those remaining are underway in Khartoum courts. Sudan lost three quarters of its oil revenues after the independence of South Sudan. Since then, the country has been plagued by inflation, a weakened currency and a severe shortage of dollars to pay for its imports.