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Sudan’s military pledges to stand by embattled president

CAIRO — Sudan’s military on Sunday pledged to stand by President Omar Bashir, says a tweet by the state news agency, a show of support as the leader faces protests and demands that he step down.

‘‘The armed forces assert that it stands behind its leadership and its keen interest in safeguarding the people’s achievements and the nation’s security, safety along with its blood, honor and assets,’’ said the tweet, quoting a military statement.

Bashir hails from the military establishment, which has dominated Sudan since independence from Anglo-Egyptian rule in 1956. He joined forces with Islamists to seize power in a 1989 military coup that toppled an elected but ineffective government.

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A coalition of unions said doctors will go on a strike that is expected to be the first of a series of work stoppages to pressure Bashir to step down.

The protests are chiefly over rising prices and shortages of food and fuel.

Bashir is seeking a new term in office.

Associated Press