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Sudan military arrests Bashir allies it says involved in failed coup

Army's statement comes amid tense deliberations between protesters and military leaders over political transition
Tens of thousands of people flooded streets of Sudan's main cities during protests last weekend (AFP)

Sudan's military said it arrested several top officials involved in a failed coup, the state-run SUNA news agency reported, though it remains unclear when the attempted putsch took place.

In a statement on Wednesday, the military said "at the top of the participants is General Hashim Abdel Mottalib, the head of joint chiefs of staff, and a number of officers from the National Intelligence and Security Service".

The army also said leaders of the Islamic Movement and the National Congress Party of ousted former president Omar al-Bashir were involved in the plot, AFP news agency reported.

The attempted coup aimed "to return the former National Congress regime to power" and derail talks for a future power-sharing agreement in Sudan, the military said in its statement.

MEE could not immediately verify the army's claims.

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It was also unclear when the attempted coup took place.

But the military's statement said it had been monitoring a failed coup attempt in the "past weeks" and was now uncovering its details, Reuters reported.

The Sudanese military said on 11 July that it had thwarted an attempted coup.

Security sources told MEE at the time that the army exaggerated its claim to strengthen its position in power-sharing talks with the civilian opposition.

The army's announcement on Wednesday comes as the country's ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and an alliance of protest and opposition groups work to finalise a deal to determine Sudan's political transition.

The TMC took power following Bashir's overthrow in a military coup in April. Bashir was deposed after months of widespread protests against his rule.

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On Wednesday, the Sudanese military said the coup organisers had been detained and investigations were ongoing, SUNA reported.

Sudan remains mired in uncertainty over its political transition - and negotiations have repeatedly stalled.

Rebel groups and leftist factions have rejected a political agreement signed on 17 July that was intended to pave the way for the power-sharing deal.

The groups - which have pushed for a civilian-led political transition for months - argued that the final agreement was likely to be dominated by the military and security organs.

The military council and the protest movement have been deadlocked since Sudanese security forces razed a peaceful pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum last month, killing more than 100 people, according to protest organisers.

Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of Sudan's main cities last weekend in the biggest demonstrations since the sit-in camp was dispersed.

The protest organisers said at least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces.

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