Sudan army confirms it toppled, arrested veteran leader Omar al-Bashir

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Sudan's defence minister has announced the arrest of President Omar al-Bashir and the creation of a military council to govern the country for the next two years, ending the 30-year rule of one of Africa's longest-surviving autocrats after four months of daily street protests against him.

The military dissolved the regime, parliament and state governments, said Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf. Seated on a gold-upholstered armchair, he said Sudan's airspace would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings shut until further notice.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir plans to step down, Al Arabiya reported on Thursday, following months of anti-government protests.

Facing the most sustained challenge to his rule yet, Bashir had counted on steadfast support from the security establishment he had nurtured for three decades to see him through.

In 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting President to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur.

Protesters who pushed for the ouster of Sudan's longtime autocratic president are continuing their defiance now that the military has wrested power from Omar al-Bashir.

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

The streets of Sudan's capital were filled with cars and trucks honking their horns on Thursday as people shouted and cheered wildly, punching their fists in the air and waving Sudanese flags, witnesses said. Several months after he ascended to power in 1989, a group of officers tried to overthrow his government, in April 1990, but the coup was quickly foiled. Many participants in a sit-in outside military headquarters expressed anger at the generals taking power, with some chanting: "We changed one dictator for another".

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She is an outspoken critic of the USA policies toward Israel and has been in controversies several times since coming to Congress. He touted his decision to withdraw from the "disastrous" Iran nuclear deal, telling the crowd, "They wanted to kill Israel".

Thursday's brief statement by the National Security and Intelligence service did not indicate when the release would take place.

Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, tells The Associated Press they will not back a military coup and insist on an "unconditional stepping down of al-Bashir and his regime".

The protests in Sudan followed the success of similar but much bigger demonstrations in Algeria in forcing long-ruling President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to exit. To up the pressure on him, protestors camped in front of his residence and army headquarters in the capital this past week, and called on the military to intervene and rally on their side.

Activist Alaa Salah tweeted: "AL-BASHIR IS OUT!"

In November past year, Sudan's Petroleum Minister Azhari Abdalla said that the country wanted to attract oil investments and would launch an exploration bid round in 2019, probably in the third quarter.

Later in January, Bashir declared a national state of emergency that expanded police powers and banned unlicensed public gatherings.

Being a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, al-Bashir was responsible for waging operations in the south of the country against the late rebel John Garang, who led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

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