While cracking down on protesters, security forces arrest prominent coup critics to 'tighten' the military control over the capital.

Internet services in Sudan have been largely blocked and shops have remained closed.
Internet services in Sudan have been largely blocked and shops have remained closed. (AFP)

Sudanese security forces have made sweeping arrests of protesters and activists as they sought to extinguish opposition to this week's military coup.

Sudan’s military arrested more members of the country’s civilian leadership on Wednesday after detaining Health Minister Omar El Najeeb and Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas, sources with the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) told Anadolu Agency.

Other officials including the prime minister’s former media adviser, Fayez Seleik, and leading SPA member Ismail Al Taj were among those arrested.

The Sudanese Journalist Network said that around five journalists had been arrested while others were summoned for investigation by the security organisations.

Hundreds of protesters were seen throwing rocks at security forces dismantling street barricades in Khartoum's eastern district of Burri, according to an AFP correspondent.

In the capital's north, security personnel fired tear gas and rubber bullets at dozens of protesters.

"Police forces have removed all the barricades since Wednesday morning and arrested all the people who stood near them," said Hady Bashir, a protester.

Later Wednesday, the information ministry – still loyal to the deposed government – said security forces were tightening their control of the capital.

"Neighbourhoods and streets have been blockaded by armoured vehicles and men carrying rifles," it said in a statement, alleging also that "women were dragged" to the ground.

"All security on the streets now look like the Bashir-era forces," lamented one protester.

A health official told AFP on Friday that morgues in Khartoum and Omdurman had received the bodies of seven civilians.

Internet services have been largely blocked and civil aviation authorities said Khartoum airport, which has been closed to flights, reopened Wednesday, but it was not immediately clear if any airline scheduled flights to Sudan.

Shops have remained closed following calls for a civil disobedience campaign and pro-democracy movements ratcheted up calls for "million-strong protests" on Saturday.

READ MORE: Sudan's protesters defiant on third day of military coup

International pressure

The World Bank froze aid and the African Union suspended Sudan over Monday's power grab by the army, just over two years into what is meant to be a transition to civilian rule after the April 2019 ouster of autocrat Omar al Bashir.

Top General Abdel Fattah al Burhan's dissolution of the government and declaration of a state of emergency on Monday has provoked strong reactions far beyond the country's borders.

On Wednesday, the AU bloc called the coup "unconstitutional" and suspended the country's membership.

The World Bank later put its aid on hold, in a major blow to a country that only recently unlocked funds from the lender and its sister institution the International Monetary Fund, after decades under sanctions during Bashir's rule.

The United States has also paused $700 million in funding and the European Union has threatened to follow suit.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was detained by the military in sweeping arrests of civilian leaders on Monday, but was allowed home on Tuesday, as major donors demanded his release.

But UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the premier was "not free" and confined to his residence, after Volker Perthes, the UN's Special Representative for Sudan, met with both Hamdok and Burhan.

Other ministers and civilian leaders remain under full military arrest.

READ MORE: Who are Rapid Support Forces, the coup enablers in Sudan?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies