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Sudan's PM survives assassination attempt, says state media

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In this Aug. 21, 2019, file photo, Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan.
In this Aug. 21, 2019, file photo, Sudan's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan.   -   Copyright  Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Sudan's prime minister survived an assassination attempt on Monday after a blast in the capital, Khartoum, Sudanese state media said.

Abdalla Hamdok's family confirmed he was safe following the explosion, which targeted his convoy. Sudanese state TV said Hamdok was heading to his office when the blast took place, and that he was taken to a “safe place.”

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Footage posted online showed two white, Japanese-made SUV vehicles used by Sudan’s top officials parked on a street, damaged with windows broken. Another vehicle was also badly damaged in the blast.

Hamdok was appointed prime minister last August after pro-democracy protests forced the military to remove the autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April and replace his administration with a civilian-led government.

After months of negotiations, the military and the pro-democracy movement reached a power-sharing deal in August. The deal established a joint military-civilian, 11-member sovereign council that will govern Sudan for the next three years.

Military generals remain the de facto rulers

Military generals remain the de facto rulers of the country and have shown little willingness to hand over power to the civilian-led administration.

Hamdok has also confirmed the government will cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s efforts to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict in Sudan in the 2000s.

Transitional authorities announced in February that they agreed to hand over al-Bashir to the ICC along with other former officials wanted by the specialist court.

Sudan’s transitional government is under pressure to end wars with rebel groups as it seeks to rehabilitate the country’s battered economy, attract much-needed foreign aid and deliver the democracy it promises.

Nearly a year after al-Bashir’s removal, the country faces a dire economic crisis. Inflation stands at a staggering 60% and the unemployment rate was 22.1% in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government has said that 30% of Sudan's young people, who make up more than half of the over 42 million population, are without jobs.

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