Daughter of Sudan opposition leader detained

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Security forces detained the daughter of Sudanese opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi her family said as anti-government protests spread to Khartoum’s university.

Two security vehicles arrived at Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi’s home in Khartoum and took her away her sister Rabah told Reuters, a day after Sudan’s security chief ordered the release of detained protesters.

There was no immediate comment from government.

Mariam is deputy head of the opposition Umma Party headed by her father – Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister who was overthrown by President Omar al-Bashir in a coup in 1989.

She supported protests that have shaken cities across Sudan since December 19. Demonstrators, frustrated with bread and fuel shortages and other economic hardships, want en end to Bashir’s three-decade rule.

Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed. Government puts the death tollat 30.

Around 250 professors from the University of Khartoum protested on campus on Wednesday, demanding a new transitional administration.

About 510 of the university’s professors signed a memo calling for creation of a “sovereign body” to form a new government and oversee a four-year transitional period.

The university educated many of Sudan’s leading politicians and has been the scene of protests and unrest throughout the country’s history.

“The University of Khartoum’s role as an academic institution is to find solutions for the peaceful transfer of power,” Montasser al-Tayeb, a professor, told reporters.

Sadiq al-Mahdi returned to Sudan last month after nearly a year in self-imposed exile and called for a democratic transition in front of thousands of supporters.

He was overthrown by an alliance of Islamists and military commanders, led by Bashir, that still forms the nucleus of the ruling National Congress Party.