Sudan's veteran opposition leader calls on Bashir to step down

The leader of Sudan's largest opposition party, Sadiq al-Mahdi, called on President Omar al-Bashir's government to heed protesters and resign in an address to supporters at a mosque across the River Nile from Khartoum Friday. "This regime has to go immediately," Mahdi told hundreds of worshippers at a mosque in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum, which has seen near daily anti-government protests. Hundreds of protesters then marched through Omdurman after Friday prayers, until police fired teargas to try to break up the rally. Mahdi said that since the protests against Bashir's government erupted on December 19, "more than 50 people have been killed" in violence during the demonstrations. Officials say 30 people have died in the protests, while rights groups have put the death toll at more than 40.