Sudanese security forces arrested at least 12 opposition leaders ahead of

a planned protest against the regime of Sudanese President Omar al-

Bashir, an opposition member.

A senior member of the NUP, Um-Salama al-Mahdi said Among those

arrested were the Deputy Leader of the National Umma Party,NUP,

Mariam al-Mahdi; NUP Secretary-General, Sara Naqdallah; the Political

Secretary of the Communist Party, Mohamed al-Khatib .

The arrests were made minutes before the start of a planned anti-

government demonstration in the capital Khartoum, according to al-


The 12 opposition leaders were planning to lead a protest march to the

presidential palace to submit a memo demanding President al-Bashir

step down when they were arrested, he said.

He said when making the arrests, security forces and riot police fired

tear gas at a crowd of hundreds of demonstrators, who had gathered near

the Arab Market area in Khartoum.

The East African nation has seen ongoing protests for several weeks,

since a sharp hike in bread and fuel prices caused public outcry.