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Sudan's Prime Minister Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok chairs a cabinet meeting in the capital Khartoum on September 21, 2021. A coup attempt in Sudan "failed" early on September 21, state media reported, as the country grapples with a fragile transition since the 2019 ouster of longtime president Omar Al Bashir. Image Credit: AFP

Khartoum: Sudan’s army said in a statement that 21 officers and a number of soldiers were arrested in connection with a coup attempt on Tuesday morning, and a search is ongoing to capture the remainder of those involved.

The army has regained control of all locations taken during the attempt, said a statement from the army commander’s media advisor Brigadier-General Altahir Abu Haja.

The coup attempt points to the difficult path facing a government that has reoriented Sudan since 2019, winning Western debt relief and taking steps to normalise ties with Israel, while battling a severe economic crisis and facing down challenges from those still loyal to Bashir.

A ruling body known as the Sovereign Council has run Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians since the overthrow of Bashir, an Islamist shunned by the West who presided over Sudan for nearly three decades.

Elections are expected in 2024.

"What happened is an orchestrated coup by factions inside and outside the armed forces and this is an extension of the attempts by remnants since the fall of the former regime to abort the civilian democratic transition," Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said in a televised statement.

"This attempt was preceded by extensive preparations represented by lawlessness in the cities and the exploitation of the situation in the east of the country, attempts to close national roads and ports and block oil production." The streets of the capital Khartoum appeared calm, with people moving around as usual and no unusual deployments of security forces, a witness said.

Early on Tuesday morning, a witness said military units loyal to the council had used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum with Omdurman, just across the River Nile.

A government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said plotters had tried to take control of state radio in Omdurman.

The suspected instigators of the coup attempt had been arrested and were being interrogated, government spokesman Hamza Balol said on state TV, adding that the last pockets of rebellion at Al Shajara camp in south Khartoum were being dealt with.