Sudan arrests top general, officers over recent foiled coup, military says

Sudanese military announced that arrests were made over a failed coup attempt earlier this month.

Sudan's military said on Wednesday it had arrested a top general and several others over a foiled coup attempt announced earlier this month.

"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 military said in a statement.

"Leaders from Islamic movements and the National Congress Party" of ousted leader Omar al-Bashir were also arrested, said the statement published by the official SUNA news agency.

On July 11 the military announced it had foiled a coup attempt without specifying when it took place.

At that time it said 12 officers, including five who were retired, had been arrested and that security forces were looking for the mastermind.

On Wednesday, the military said those detained over the attempted coup were being questioned and would face trial.

They stand accused of trying to "help return the former National Congress Party's regime to power", according to the military statement.

General Mohamed Othman al-Hussein, the new head of joint chiefs of staff, also announced the details of the arrests on state television.

Sudan's ruling military council, which took over after Bashir's overthrow in April, said last month it had thwarted "more than one coup attempt", with several officers taken into custody.

The latest alleged coup attempt came just a week after the ruling generals inked a power sharing deal with protest leaders to form a joint civilian-military governing body.

The accord was signed on July 17 but the two sides have yet to thrash out some key issues, including justice for demonstrators killed during months of protests.

Some 246 people have been killed in protest-related violence since demonstrations first erupted in December against Bashir's regime, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.

Of those killed, 127 died on June 3 when armed men in military fatigues violently dispersed a weeks-long protest camp outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.

The ruling generals have denied they ordered the dispersal, which triggered international outrage.

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