Authorities in Sudan have said seven people have been killed and more than 180 injured during protests in several cities.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to keep up pressure on the country's interim military rulers to hand power to a civilian government.

The "million-man" march had been seen as a test for protest organisers after their push for civilian rule was hit by the 3 June raid on a Khartoum protest camp and a subsequent internet blackout that curbed their ability to mobilise support.

Dozens of demonstrators were killed and hundreds wounded when armed men in military fatigues stormed the sit-in on 3 June outside army headquarters, shooting and beating protesters who had camped there since 6 April.

Yesterday, police fired tear gas on protesters approaching the presidential palace after organisers called for a march on the building that houses offices of the ruling transitional military council, an AFP correspondent reported.

Police also fired tear gas at protesters in the northern Khartoum district of Bahri and in Mamura and Arkweit, in the capital's east, as thousands of protesters chanted "Civilian rule! Civilian rule!", witnesses said.

Elsewhere, security forces used tear gas to disperse protests in the capital's twin city of Omdurman and the eastern town of Gadaref.

Late last night, the official SUNA news agency quoting a health ministry official, said "seven were killed" in the protests, without elaborating how they died or who they were.

It said that another 181 people were wounded, including 27 with bullets.

Separately, ten members of regular forces were also wounded, including three from the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces shot by "live ammunition," it said.

Earlier, a doctors' committee linked to the protest movement said that five protesters had been killed during the day, including four in Omdurman.

It also said that several more were seriously wounded by gunshots fired by "the military council militias".

The deputy chief of the ruling military council said that unknown snipers had shot at least three members of RSF and five or six civilians in Omdurman.