Khartoum – Reports are filtering in that there has been a military coup in Sudan and that President Omar Al Bashir may be stepping down in face of the ongoing anti-government protests calling for his resignation.
The military was expected to make "a big announcement" shortly
Mumtaz News and Al Arabiya reported on Thursday morning that in addition to these developments Khartoum Airport has been closed, the military has taken over national TV and Radio and arrested a number of top leaders.
Army chiefs are holding a meeting.
As people waited for further word, state television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest.
The crisis has escalated since the weekend, when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir's residence is located.
Clashes erupted on Tuesday between soldiers trying to protect the protesters and intelligence and security personnel trying to disperse them. At least 11 people died in the clashes, including six members of the armed forces, the information minister said citing a police report.
Since December 19, Sudan has been rocked by persistent protests sparked by the government's attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has led to fuel and cash shortages
Opposition figures have called for the military to help negotiate an end to Bashir's nearly three decades in power and a transition to democracy.
The demonstrators at the Defense Ministry had said that they wanted to submit a petition for the armed forces to take their side in their attempt to remove Bashir and his Islamist-backed administration.
African News Agency (ANA) and Reuters