A Sudanese state-owned daily reported on Wednesday that al-Turabi's detention has been extended despite a pledge by the government last week to free all political detainees.

The al-Anbaa newspaper quoted the Sudanese Media Centre(SMC), a news service close to the government, as saying that al-Turabi's detention had been extended.

Leader of the Popular National Congress and former parliamentary speaker, al-Turabi has been in detention since February 2001 after he got into a power struggle with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

On 15 August 2002 the authorities decided to keep al-Turabi in custody under an emergency law that allows them to detain people without pressing charges for a renewable period of one year.

The government held the Islamist ideologue first in prison, before shifting him to a government detention house in the capital Khartoum's Kafouri suburb.