Sudan arrests top general, officers over foiled coup

Sudan's military said 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, the military said in a statement.

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.

The attempted coup came as the ruling military council which took over after Bashir's ouster in April negotiated 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 are yet to thrash out some key pending issues, including accountability for demonstrators killed during months of protests.

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