Posts Tagged ‘kenitra’

Nine terrorists escape from Moroccan prison

April 7, 2008
  • Monday April 7 2008
  • Nine people convicted of offences linked to suicide terrorist attacks in Morocco in 2003 have escaped from prison.

    The country’s ministry of justice said a search was under way for the prisoners, who were found to be missing from the Kenitra prison, north of Rabat, this morning.

    The Islamist prisoner rights advocacy group Ennassir said the escape coincided with the beginning of a one-day hunger strike by about 1,000 Islamist prisoners at several prisons across Morocco.

    The bombings in Casablanca five years ago killed 45 people, including the 12 perpetrators. The five simultaneous bombings – at a Spanish restaurant, the Belgian consulate, a Jewish community centre, a cemetery and a hotel – injured a further 100 people.

    No one claimed responsibility for the May attacks, though Moroccan authorities believed they were the work of the banned Islamist group Salafia Jihadia, which security officials have accused of being linked to al-Qaida.

    Thousands were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the attack as authorities cracked down on suspected militants. About 700 people were put on trial for offences linked to the bombings. Four men were sentenced to death for their involvement in the attacks.

    The alleged mastermind, Abdelhaq Bentassir, died in custody, prompting an outraged response from civil rights groups.

    Most of the suspected bombers came from a Casablanca shantytown, with the attacks highlighting the lack of opportunities for poor Casablanca residents.

    The attacks were seen as a huge blow to the reputation of Morocco, one of the most liberal countries in the Arab world which relies heavily on revenues from western tourists.


    Morocco building collapse kills 14

    January 17, 2008

    176163754.jpg154767597.jpg0efb9f7d801.jpg106125659.jpgFourteen people were killed when a two-storey residential building under construction collapsed in Morocco’s northwestern city of Khenitra, government officials said on Thursday.Twenty six people were injured in Wednesday’s collapse and it was not known how many people might still be trapped beneath the rubble.

    The number of people on site at the time of the collapse was unclear.

    Authorities were investigating the cause of the accident in Khenitra which lies 40 km (25 miles) north of Rabat.

    Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa, who visited the scene along with other senior officials, vowed to identify and punish officials who might be responsible for the collapse.