Sudan’s ruling military council (TMC) says it has foiled an attempted military coup and at least 16 officers have been arrested.

The development late on Thursday came as the TMC and protest movement leaders seeking a transition to democracy were in discussions over a power-sharing deal.

“Officers and soldiers from the army and National Intelligence and Security Service, some of them retired, were trying to carry out a coup,” General Jamal Omar of the TMC said in a statement broadcast live on state television.

“The regular forces were able to foil the attempt,” he said, but did not say when the attempt was made.

“This is an attempt to block the agreement which has been reached by the Transitional Military Council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change that aims to open the road for Sudanese people to achieve their demands,” Omar said, referring to the leading protest coalition.

Omar said security forces were pursuing additional officers who took part in plotting the attempted coup.

The announcement came as the generals and protest leaders went through the details of the agreement at a luxury hotel in the capital, Khartoum.