Tear gas attack at Sudanese show
Local police have blamed Islamist militants for a tear gas attack on a concert in the Sudan.
Two canisters of tear gas were fired into the audience during a show by Sudanese singer Nada Galaa at a cinema in New Halfa, in the state of Kassala.
Galaa (pictured), who told the El Mustagilla newspaper police were forced to intervene to protect her and her band, accused the perpetrators of attempting to “cause a schism between the religious communities and I”.
Dabanga Radio reports local Islamist groups had previously demanded the cancellation of the concert, touring the city with loudspeakers and even going to so far as to issue a fatwa, or Islamic legal ruling, prohibiting Galaa (also Ghalah, Al Galaa) singing.
Roughly 97% of Sudanese are Muslim. Despite past ties to Islamic extremism (it at one time offered a safe haven to Osama bin Laden and members of Hamas), Sudan now cooperates with Western intelligence agencies against groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, with its ambassador to the US, Maowia Osman Khalid, recently describing the African country as “a close partner with the United States in counterterrorism around the globe”.