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Sudan PM, ruling party chairman arrested

A general view of the National Congress Party's fourth general assembly at Khartoum International Fair in Khartoum, Sudan on 28 April 2017 [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]
A general view of the National Congress Party's fourth general assembly at Khartoum International Fair in Khartoum, Sudan [Ebrahim Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

Sudan's Prime Minister Mohamed Taher Ayala and the head of the ruling National Congress Party, Ahmed Haroun, are among dozens of officials arrested in Sudan today, a top military official with direct knowledge of the situation told CNN.

Former defence minister Abdel Rehim Mohamed Hussein, former government minister and leading member of the National Congress Awad Al-Jaz and former vice presidents Berri Hassan Saleh and Ali Othman Taha, have also been arrested, the official said.

CNN reported witnessing "military troops in the capital Khartoum storming the Islamic Movement headquarters, part of the ruling party".

This comes after reports from the country have indicated that long-term dictator Omar Al-Bashir has been ousted by the army today. It is as yet unknown if he has been placed under house arrest. The Sudanese army is expected to issue a statement to clarify the situation today.

READ: Sudanese demonstrators maintain Khartoum sit-in

Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service today announced the release of all political prisoners across the country, state news agency SUNA reported.

Shortly after the announcement, Twitter users circulated photos showing former detainees being welcomed by protesters as they joined demonstrations against Omar Al-Bashir.

Protesters have been waiting for a statement from Sudan's military, as sources said Bashir had been forced to step down from the presidency after three decades in power and moves were under way to form a transitional council.

One of those released was Mohammed Naji Elasam, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the main organiser of protests being held across Sudan since December, witnesses said. Elasam had been detained for more than three months.

READ: Splits within Sudan's defence forces embolden the protest movement 

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