Demonstrators attend a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan. Image Credit: Reuters

5.10pm

Sudan army topples Bashir: defence minister

The Sudanese army has removed veteran president Omar Al Bashir from power and detained him, Defence Minister Awad Ibnouf announced on state television on Thursday.

"I announce as minister of defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place," Ibnouf said.

Bashir, who ruled with an iron fist since he took power in a coup in 1989, was ousted after deadly force failed to end four months of nationwide protests for his ouster.

"We have replaced him by a transitional military council for two years and have suspended Sudan's 2005 constitution," Ibnouf said, reading from a statement.

"We announce a state of emergency across the country for three months, and we have ordered the closing of the country's borders and airspace until a new announcement is made."

Ibnouf said the military council had also declared a nationwide ceasefire, that includes the war-torn regions of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan where Bashir's government had long been battling ethnic minority rebels.

3.55pm

Sudanese defence minister, in uniform, announces on state TV that the military has arrested President Omar Al Bashir.

Sudanese defense minister also said that the army is taking over for the next two years, suspending constitution, closing borders and airspace. Bashir will be kept in a safe place, the minister said.

2.55pm

Protesters storm eastern security building 

Sudanese protesters Thursday stormed a building of the powerful intelligence services in the eastern town of Kasala after the officers refused to release the detainees there, witnesses said.

"Protesters stormed the building and looted all the equipment that was there," a witness from Kasala told AFP by telephone. It came the official SUNA news agency said all political detainees across the country were being freed.

2.45pm

All political detainees freed

Sudan's powerful intelligence service announced it was freeing all the country's political detainees, state media said.

"The National Intelligence and Security Service has announced it is releasing all political detainees across the country," the official SUNA news agency said.

1.41pm

'Do not to attack govt property'

The Sudanese group spearheading the demonstrations against President Omar Al Bashir urged the people "not to attack" government and private properties as they awaited a key announcement from the army.

"We are calling on our people to control themselves and not to attack anybody or government and private properties," the Alliance for Freedom and Change said in a statement.

"Anyone found doing this will be punished by law. Our revolution is peaceful, peaceful, peaceful."

12.20pm

Sudan army raid group close to Bashir's party

A team of Sudanese soldiers raided the offices of a group linked to President Omar Al Bashir's ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum, witnesses said, reports AFP

The soldiers raided the offices of the Islamic Movement, the ideological wing of the NCP, on Thursday morning, witnesses told AFP.

11.32am

Bashir steps down as Sudan president

Sudan's Bashir has stepped down and consultations are under way to set up a transitional council, said provincial minister to Al Hadath TV, reports Reuters

The Associated Press has also reported the same, quoting two senior Sudanese officials.

The officials say the military is now in talks about forming a transitional government. The officials, who hold high positions in the government and the military, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

They spoke ahead of an army announcement and amid reports of a coup to replace the president of 30 years following mass street protests against his rule.

10.30am

Bashir to step down: sources

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir is stepping down, Arabiya reports citing sources.

Sudan has been rocked by months of anti-government protests. Bashir would be the second leader in the region to quit amid nationwide protests this month, following Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's resignation, reports Bloomberg.

Earlier Thursday there were reports of military vehicles surrounding the presidential palace as well as the TV building.

9.12am

'Important announcement soon'

KHARTOUM:  Sudan state television said on Thursday that the armed forces would make an important announcement soon, amid speculation that a coup attempt could be underway against President Omar Al Bashir following months of protests against his 30-year rule.

"The armed forces will present an important statement shortly. Be ready for it," the announcement on state television read, without giving further details.

As people waited for further word, state television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest.

The crisis has escalated since the weekend, when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir's residence is located.

Clashes erupted on Tuesday between soldiers trying to protect the protesters and intelligence and security personnel trying to disperse them. At least 11 people died in the clashes, including six members of the armed forces, the information minister said citing a police report.

Since Dec. 19, Sudan has been rocked by persistent protests sparked by the government's attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has led to fuel and cash shortages Opposition figures have called for the military to help negotiate an end to Bashir's nearly three decades in power and a transition to democracy.

The demonstrators at the Defense Ministry had said that they wanted to submit a petition for the armed forces to take their side in their attempt to remove Bashir and his Islamist-backed administration.

Residents urged to throng protest site

Organisers of nationwide protests against Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir called on Khartoum residents Thursday to mass at army headquarters as state media said the army would make an "important statement".

"We call on our people from across the Khartoum capital and the region around to immediately go to the sit-in area and not leave from there until our next statement is issued," the Sudanese Professionals Association said.

A sit-in outside army headquarters, which also houses Bashir's residence, entered its sixth day on Thursday with protesters gathered in what the European Union has described as "an unprecedented number."