Sudan's ruling party calls for rally to support president

Sudan's state news agency says the country's ruling party will organize a rally this week in support of embattled President Omar al-Bashir, who has weathered four months of protests calling for his resignation.

SUNA reported Wednesday that the National Congress Party is planning a rally for Thursday in the capital, Khartoum. The planned rally could trigger clashes with rival protesters who have been holding a large sit-in outside the military's headquarters in the capital since the weekend.

Attempts by security forces to break up the sit-in have killed at least 22, including five soldiers who protest organizers said were defending the sit-in.

The protests initially erupted last December with demonstrations against a spiraling economy, but quickly escalated into calls for an end to al-Bashir's 30-year rule.