Sudan military leaders say they beat back coup attempt

Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans outside the army headquarters

A leading member of the FFC, Faisal Babikir, said the coup attempt was led by soldiers still allied with ousted president Omar al-Bashir, who the military overthrew in April after months of mass anti-government protests.

Saturday's marches come as the ruling military council and protest leaders are planning to sign a power-sharing agreement that includes a joint Sovereign Council set to rule for a little over three years, along with a constitutional declaration.

Sudan's ruling military council, which took power after Omar al-Bashir's 30-year rule ended in April, will present next week a draft document on the establishment of an interim government comprised of civilian and military leaders.

In Khartoum on Saturday, thousands protested on Sitteen Street, a major thoroughfare in the capital, a Reuters witness said.

Protest organizers say security forces killed at least 128 people during the dispersal and subsequent crackdown. Officials put the death toll at 62.

Rasha Awad, editor of the online Sudanese newspaper Altaghyeer, said the military council's actions will determine what happens next.

Protesters were seen waving Sudanese flags and posters that read: "Freedom, Peace and Justice" and "Civilian (authority) is the people's choice". Thousands also turned out in Wad Madani, capital of Jazeera state, while others protested in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, and Al-Ubayyid, capital of North Kordofan.

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"There are infiltrators and intelligence services within the Rapid Support (Forces)", said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council.

Under the reported deal, five seats would go to the military and five to civilians, with an additional seat given to a civilian agreed upon by both sides.

Lt. Gen. Gamal Omar, a member of Sudan's military council, said the coup attempt took place late Thursday, just days after the military and the pro-democracy coalition had agreed to the joint sovereign council.

Late on Saturday, the Sudanese Communist party, which is part of the protest movement, said it rejected the power-sharing agreement because it does not include an global investigation into the crackdown and it keeps paramilitary forces in existence.

The news was announced as military and civilian leaders met at a Khartoum hotel to discuss details of last week's power-sharing agreement.

The deal was meant to end a weekslong political deadlock between the military and protesters since the Khartoum sit-in was razed. Two of the rapid support forces - who took part in the sit-in - said that the command was given to break the sit-in and that the instructions were issued two weeks before the implementation.

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