The Sudanese government on Thursday announced that eight people were killed during a protest in the eastern Sudan’s Kassala State.

“Clashes took place on Thursday between protesters and a joint force in Kassala which resulted in the killing of eight people including a member of the joint force,” Faisal Mohamed Saleh, Sudan’s information minister and government spokesman, told reporters.

He said the central government decided to declare a three-day state of emergency in Kassala State. A protest was held in Kassala on Thursday against the recent decision by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to sack the state’s civilian governor Saleh Ammar.

A group of Ammar’s supporters staged the demonstration, approved by the state’s security committee, to express their rejection to the dismissal of the governor who belongs to the Bani Amer tribe.

It remained unclear how the protests turned into violent clashes between the protesters and the security force. Ammar, appointed by Hamdok as the civilian governor of Kassala State on July 22, was sacked on Oct. 13. For about three months, Ammar failed to assume his post after the Hadandawa tribes (the biggest in Kassala) rejected his appointment as the state’s governor.

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