Sudanese military in talks to form interim council

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Top Sudanese military officers are reportedly conducting intense consultations to form an interim ruling council.

Earlier Thursday, President Omar al-Bashir stepped down in the wake of continued calls for his resignation.

Observers told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity that the move comes before an expected official statement on the stepping down of al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir is now under house arrest and his bodyguards have been detained, local media reported.

Meanwhile, Sudanese military intelligence rounded up more than 100 executives of the ruling National Congress Party.

Among those arrested were former Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, former Vice President Ali Osman Taha and ruling party head Ahmed Haroun.

However, Salah Gosh, head of the Sudanese intelligence service, was not among the arrested figures, sources familiar with the matter anonymously told Anadolu Agency due to fear of reprisal.

The sources suggested that Gosh could have a strong role in today’s change.

In November 2013, Gosh was detained as he was accused of participation in a foiled military coup attempt. He was acquitted later due to insufficient evidence.

Earlier, Sudan’s state TV announced the army would make an important announcement soon.

Hundreds of Sudanese protesters on Wednesday staged a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital for the fifth day in a row amid continued calls for al-Bashir to step down.

Since Saturday, at least 22 people have been killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces, which have repeatedly tried to disperse the sit-in by force, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.

The police, for their part, said that only a single protester was killed.

Sudan has been shaken by protests since last December, with demonstrators demanding the departure of al-Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since 1989.

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