Sudan’s ruling military council says it is canceling all agreements with the main opposition coalition and called for elections within nine months, following the worst violence since president Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April.

The decision by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) is likely to fuel anger among protest leaders who have demanded preparations for elections during a longer transitional period led by a civilian administration.

The TMC had been under both domestic and international pressure to hand over power to civilians.

At least 35 people were killed when security forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defense Ministry in central Khartoum on Monday (yesterday) amid heavy gunfire, according to a group of doctors linked to the opposition.

The group had earlier said that at least 116 people were wounded.

The main protest organisers, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), accused the TMC of perpetrating “a massacre” as it broke up the camp, a charge denied by the council.

TMC spokesman Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi said security forces were pursuing “unruly elements” who had fled to the protest site and caused chaos.

The camp had become the focal point of pressure on the country’s military rulers to hand over power to civilians.