Muscat: A red alert has been sounded by the army as protesters refused to retreat from the Globe Roundabout, blocking access to the junction from all directions, according to a citizen of Sohar.

"The army is back to the roundabout and as we know a red alert has been sounded," Adil Taiseer told Gulf News. Adil is among some of the elderly Sohar citizens trying to convince the young protesters and have even asked residents to report to them any attempt of sabotage.

The news could not be confirmed by any official source but people in Sohar said that they had got SMS regarding the level of emergency raised from Orange to Red.

It is said that the army gave the protesters an evening deadline to evacuate or face action.

Since Monday night some citizens have been guarding residential areas and shops. They have been roaming the streets with baseball bats and sticks to fan out vandals.

"We did try to make the protesters understand that it would be prudent to leave the roundabout so that troublemakers could be separated from the peaceful protesters," he told Gulf News from Sohar.

Adil also said that the roundabout near the port was cleared off protesters.

"The Sohar Port is running fine and was never closed during the protests," Annica Sigevall, Head of Corporate Communication at Sohar Industrial Port Company, told Gulf News Wednesday.

She said that marine traffic at the port was not affected at any stage. "At times the traffic out of the port to the town was affected but for a few hours as protesters had blocked the roundabout near the port," she said, adding that the roundabout was cleared and the traffic was moving smoothly in and out of the port.

The Sohar Citizen Committee has began circulating mobile numbers of their core members so that people can contact them in case of any emergency or even attempts of arson.

While the protesters are holding fort at the Globe Roundabout, the police are inside the station close to the junction.

They have on two to three occasions fired teargas shells from inside the police station when miscreants tried to besiege the station or set objects on fire.

The social media is abuzz with the apparent tension building at the Globe Roundabout.