Sudan's PM Hamdok survives assassination attempt: state

Monday March 9 2020

Sudan's prime minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. A car bomb exploded as his convoy passed through a Khartoum suburb on March 9, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAWAHIB ABDALLATIF
By MAWAHIB ABDALLATIF
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Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Monday morning survived an assassination attempt, a statement released by his office says.

Officials said the PM survived an attack from a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) fired from the top of the Cooper Bridge in Khartoum. It hit a civilian's car injuring its occupant.

Initial reports had indicated a car bomb exploded, but this was later clarified by the information Ministry, which termed the incident as a terror attack targeting the prime minister.

PM Hamdok assured citizens that he was safe. “I assure the Sudanese people that I am well and completely healthy. What happened will not stop the march of change and will only be an additional inspiration for the revolution,” he said on Twitter.

“This revolution is protected by its peacefulness and its price was the blood that was shed as [a] sacrifice made for a better tomorrow.”

The PM was taken to a secure location after the incident.

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An emergency meeting of the Sudanese Security and Defense Council has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and will be chaired by the Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

The attack occurred at a time when the government is facing great difficulties in managing an economic crisis.

Sudanese Minister of Information Faisal Muhammad Saleh said the convoy was targeted by a terrorist.

Authorities have begun investigations, he added.

Leaders from the US, UK, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) condemned the attack.

The US embassy in Khartoum expressed shock and reaffirmed Washington’s support for the transitional government.

The UK called for a thorough investigation, saying the attempt was very disturbing.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Hafez called for regional and international efforts to combat terrorism.

Mr Hamdok has been in power since August 2019, heading a transitional government that is comprised of military officials and civilians.

Following the attack, suspicion fell on remnants of Omar al-Bashir's security apparatus, part of who Premier Hamdok has been tasked to reform in the 30 months of his transitional government.

In February, soldiers from the disbanded unit of the National Security Intelligence Service mutinied after they refused to leave the premises as ordered. The incident led to three deaths.

On Monday, officials did not link the assassination attempt to the intelligence mutiny.

But two weeks ago, the security and intelligence services arrested a leader of a terrorist cell in the eastern Nile suburb. The Criminal Investigations department said his intention was to assassinate the Prime Minister and other state officials.

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