Quarrels among political factions prompted the military to intervene. Tensions have been rising for weeks between civilian and military leaders over Sudan’s course and the pace of the transition to democracy.

Sudan’s military seized power Monday, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting prime minister and other officials. Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy, AP reports.

The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was expected to hand the leadership of the council that runs the African country over to civilians.

After the early morning arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials, thousands poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman. Footage shared online appeared to show protesters blocking streets and setting fire to tires as security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

As plumes of smoke filled the air, protesters could be heard chanting, “The people are stronger, stronger” and “Retreat is not an option!” Videos on social media showed large crowds crossing bridges over the Nile to the center of the capital.

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