The Indian embassy in Sudan on Saturday urged citizens to stay indoors after at least three persons were killed in clashes between the army and a powerful paramilitary group in the African nation’s capital of Khartoum.

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard in several parts of Khartoum, witnesses told Reuters.

“In view of reported firings and clashes, all Indians are advised to take utmost precautions, stay indoors and stop venturing outside with immediate effect,” the mission said in a tweet. “Please also stay calm and wait for updates.”

A doctors’ association told the Associated Press that dozens of people have been injured around the country during the fighting.

The Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary group, accused the Army of first launching a “sweeping attack with all kinds of heavy and light weapons”. However, a spokesperson of Sudan’s army said that paramilitary troops started the fight by attacking military bases.

The Rapid Support Forces claimed that it had taken control of the presidential palace, the army chief’s residence and the international airport. But the army quickly denied these claims.

The clashes started after weeks of rising tensions between military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his number two, paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo on a plan to integrate the Rapid Support Forces into the national army.

Both the armed bodies have been vying for supremacy since they worked together to overthrow Sudan’s long-term authoritarian President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The military later agreed to share power with civilians but the rivalry between the two men has twice led to postponement of the signing of an agreement with civilian factions.