Members of Sudan's alliance of opposition and protest groups chant slogans outside Sudan's Central Bank during the second day of a strike in Khartoum, as tensions mounted with the country's military rulers over the transition to democracy. picture: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

Khartoum  - "A number" of soldiers have been taken into custody following the killing of dozens of peaceful protesters in Khartoum last week, Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) said late Monday.

In a statement published by state-run news agency Suna, the council said "preliminary evidence" had been found "against a number of elements of the regular forces who were then put in military custody, prior to referring them to the judicial authorities in an urgent manner."

"The Transitional Military Council affirms that there will be no delay in holding accountable all those found guilty in accordance with the regulations and laws," it continued.

A doctors' association has said security forces killed about 100 people and injured about 500 others during a crackdown on a mass sit-in in Khartoum on June 3.

The protesters are demanding that the TMC, which has been in power since long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was deposed and arrested in a peaceful military coup in April, hand power to a civilian-led government.

On Monday most shops in the capital were closed on what was the second day of a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience called by the opposition.

On Sunday dozens of opposition supporters were arrested, including two of their leaders.

An attempt at mediating the crisis between the TMC and opposition groups by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had met with both sides in Khartoum on Friday, is yet to show results.

Late Monday, Washington announced that its top Africa diplomat, Tibor Nagy, would head to Sudan and meet with members of the opposition and the TMC.

"He will call for a cessation of attacks against civilians and urge parties to work toward creating an enabling environment ... for talks to resume," the US State Department said in a statement.

Nagy, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, is also set to discuss the Sudan crisis with African Union and Ethiopian officials in Ethiopia and will also travel to Mozambique and South Africa on his trip, which is to begin on Wednesday and last until June 23.

dpa