Nine Sudan opposition leaders detained ahead of planned protest

 Authorities in Sudan arrested at least nine opposition leaders and activists, a committee of civil society groups said in a statement, ahead of fresh anti-government protests expected after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday.
The head of the National Intelligence and Security Service's media office denied knowledge of the arrests.
Sudan has been rocked by more than a week of anti-government protests sparked by rising prices, shortages of basic commodities and a cash crisis. At least 19 people have died during the protests, including two military personnel, according to official figures.
The statement by a committee of professional organizations involved in the protests said authorities had raided a meeting of opposition leaders in Khartoum. They detained a total of nine people, including Siddiq Youssef, a senior leader of Sudan's Communist Party, as well as leaders from the pan-Arab Ba'ath and Nasserist parties, the statement said.