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Sudan ministers detained in an apparent military coup

Sudanese officials said military forces detained at least five senior government officials on Monday, including a number of ministers.

The officials said the detained include Industry Minister Ibrahim Al-Sheikh; Information Minister Hamza Baloul; Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman of the ruling Sovereign Council; and Faisal Mohammed Saleh, a media adviser to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The whereabouts of Hamdok were not immediately clear, amid media reports that security forces were stationed outside his home in Khartoum. Photos circulating online showed men in uniform standing in the dark, allegedly near his home.

A pro-democratic group reported internet and phone signal outages in the country. Its officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The arrests comes after weeks of rising tensions between Sudan’s civilian and military leaders. A failed coup attempt in September fractured the country along old lines, pitting more conservative Islamists who want a military government against those who toppled autocratic former ruler Omar al-Bashir in mass protests. In recent days, both camps have taken to the street in demonstrations.

The arrests have come as the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, met Sudanese military and civilian leaders over the weekend in efforts to resolve the growing dispute. Sudan’s Stat News website highlighted the meetings with military officials.

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