Gunfire reported as crowds rally in protest against military takeover in Sudan

Sudanese soldiers arrested most of the members of Sudan’s cabinet and a large number of pro-government party leaders on Monday in an apparent military coup, three political sources said, throwing a fragile transition towards democracy into disarray.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was detained and moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the coup, the information ministry said.

In response, thousands flooded the streets of Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman to protest the apparent military takeover. Footage shared online appeared to show protesters blocking streets and setting fire to tires as security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

Gunshots were heard near the military headquarters where people were gathered. Several local people claimed that the military had opened fire to protesters however the military hasn’t responded to the accusation yet.

Monday’s arrests come after weeks of rising tensions between Sudan’s civilian and military leaders.

The military had stirred unrest in eastern Sudan and used the crisis to implement a coup against the government of Hamdok, the director of his office told al-Arabiya TV channel.

Sudan PM aide says the coup happened in spite of agreement reached with ruling council head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in the presence of US special envoy, Jeffrey Feltman.

Sudanese armed forces entered the headquarters of the Sudanese national Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday and detained some of its employees, according to the Sudanese  Ministry of Information.

The information ministry called for the immediate release of detainees and rejects coup attempt.

Khartoum International Airport has been closed, with all international flights suspended and access blocked, according to media reports.

Sudan’s general is expected to make announcement shortly.

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