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Sudanese security forces arrest opposition parties’ leaders

Sudanese presidental guards secure the area during a speech by President Omar al-Beshir in El-Fasher, north Darfur on 23 July 2008. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Sudanese presidental guards secure the area during a speech by President Omar al-Beshir in El-Fasher, north Darfur on 23 July 2008. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Sudanese security forces have arrested dozens of opposition leaders in the country’s capital of Khartoum, Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported yesterday quoting eyewitnesses.

“A group of security forces’ vehicles arrested prominent leaders of opposition parties, allied with the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), in front of a mosque’s gate located in Al-Souq Al Arabi area near the presidential palace,” the witnesses said. They explained that the detainees included the Communist Party leader, Mokhtar Al-Khatib, the deputy head of the Umma Party, Mariam Al-Sadiq, as well as the party’s secretary general Sara Naqdallah, and the leader of the Sudanese Baath Party, Yahya El Hussein.

The locals pointed out that the detainees were transferred to a political security building in the Khartoum’s northern district of Bahari.

Read: Sudan releases 2,400 protesters amid US condemnation of crackdown

The Sudanese police, the witnesses explained, stopped the so-called “Procession of Departure” rally as the protestors were on their way to deliver a petition to the presidential palace calling for the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down.

“The security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the Al-Souq Al-Arabi area in Khartoum,” the local sources noted.

Nearly-daily protests have spread across Sudan since 19 December. Price increases and cash shortages triggered the demonstrations but developed into protests against President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.

Activists say nearly 60 people have been killed in the protests, while the official death toll is 32, including three security personnel.

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