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George Clooney arrested

Hollywood movie star George Clooney was arrested at Sudan's embassy in Washington on Friday during a...

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Hollywood movie star George Clooney was arrested at Sudan's embassy in Washington on Friday during a protest against an escalating emergency as the country blocks humanitarian aid from reaching a volatile border region where hundreds of thousands of people are short of food.

Clooney, his father Nick and other anti-Sudan activists ignored three police warnings to leave the embassy grounds and were led away to a Secret Service van in handcuffs, a Reuters journalist covering the demonstration said.

"We need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world," Clooney told reporters just before his arrest.

"The second thing we are here to ask is for the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them. That's all we ask."

Clooney, who on Wednesday was a guest at the White House banquet in honour of British Prime Minister David Cameron, and several others were expected to post bail and walk free later on Friday, a spokesman for the protest organisers said.

"We gave them each $50 for bail," said Matt Brown of the Enough Project, an activist group which helped to organize the protest as part of a "day of action" to highlight the situation in Sudan's volatile South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces.

Activists have drawn parallels between the current crisis and the violence almost a decade ago in the western region of Darfur, where Khartoum sparked international condemnation by violently suppressing a rebellion in a conflict that the United Nations estimates killed some 300,000 people.

Timeline

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