Khartoum — Sudanese security forces arrested 20 opposition members on Thursday who were on their way to deliver a petition to the presidential palace calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down, a leading member of the opposition said. This would amount to the largest crackdown against the opposition in one day since protests against Bashir’s rule began two months ago. Those arrested included Mohamed Mokhtar al-Khatib, the general-secretary of the Communist Party, and three leading members of the Umma Party, said Rabah Sadiq al-Mahdi, daughter of Sadiq al-Mahdi who heads the Umma Party, the largest opposition party. The spokesman of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), the main protest organiser, was also detained. The authorities could not immediately be reached for comment. They were arrested while gathering in central Khartoum, getting ready to deliver the petition, which demanded the formation of a new transitional government to replace Bashir and his administrat...

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