Khartoum — Sudanese soldiers intervened to protect demonstrators on Monday after security forces tried to break up a protest by thousands of anti-government demonstrators camping outside the defence ministry in central Khartoum, witnesses and activists said. They said riot police and secret-service personnel charged the demonstrators with bakkies while firing tear gas, trying to disperse a crowd of about 3,000 men and women. But witnesses and activists said soldiers guarding the compound had come out to protect the demonstrators, firing warning shots in the air. The security forces retreated without firing back, while demonstrators chanted “The army is protecting us” and “One people, one army”, witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Information minister Hassan Ismail, who is also the government spokesperson, contradicted the reports, saying: “The crowd in front of the [military] general command has been cleared completely, in a way that resulted in no casu...

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