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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 01:56 GMT 02:56 UK
Sudan 'foils Islamist coup plot'
PNC leader Hassan al-Turabi
Turabi has denied his party's involvement in a coup plot
Sudan says it has foiled a coup plot by backers of detained Islamist opposition leader, Hassan al-Turabi.

A statement by the Interior Ministry said members of Mr Turabi's Popular National Congress party had planned to carry out a coup after Friday prayers.

The statement said a number of arrests had been made and that the security forces were looking for the alleged coup leader al-Haj Adam Youssef.

Some 30 PNC members were held earlier this month in connection with a coup.

The PNC had earlier denied involvement in a coup to topple the government of President Omar al-Bashir.


The Interior Ministry statement said the coup plotters had planned to strike at 1400 local time (1100 GMT) on Friday in the capital, Khartoum.

"On the information provided by those arrested earlier in connection with the plot, your gallant security forces moved in and with the help and blessing of Allah, arrested the high leadership of the plot," the statement said.

It added that those held confessed that they were about to "execute" the plan at the set time.

Mr Youssef - a leading PNC member - was identified as the leader of the alleged coup.

The statement also urged the people to help arrest the "fugitive criminal".

'Against weapons'

Mr Turabi, a former ally of President Bashir, has been in detention since March in connection with previous allegations of plotting a coup, linked to the conflict in Sudan's western region of Darfur.

PNC member El Mahboud Abdul Salam earlier this month told the BBC's Network Africa programme that the party believed in peaceful resistance against the government of President Bashir, who came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.

"We are against using weapons against the government," Mr Mahboub said, claiming the government was trying to deflect attention away from the crisis in Darfur.

Mr Mahboub said that although the PNC and rebel movements in Darfur shared the same ideology - the belief in the decentralisation of power and wealth - the PNC did not back their armed resistance.

Profile: Sudan's Islamist leader
14 Oct 03  |  Africa
Q&A: Sudan's Darfur conflict
09 Sep 04  |  Africa


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