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Many happy returns

Four 'bombers' dead in Casablanca
BBC

Moroccan police raids against suspected Islamic militants have ended with the death of four suspects and a policeman in the city of Casablanca. One man was shot by police and three others are believed to have blown themselves up.

They were thought to have been associated with another incident in Casablanca last month involving a blast in an internet cafe.

Reports say the men were suspected of involvement in a major terrorist plot.

Dawn chase

The BBC's Richard Hamilton, in Rabat, says a police chase at dawn across the rooftops of the poor El Fida district ended in two men being cornered.


Eighteen were held after an internet cafe was blown up last month

One man detonated his belt of explosives, dying instantly and another was killed by police bullets while resisting arrest.

A third man who was found later in the day also died by blowing himself up.

Eyewitnesses said he threw himself from the roof and a police officer died of his injuries caused by that explosion, our correspondent says. A seven-year-old child is also said to have wounded.

Later a third explosion also took place in El Fida. Reports say it was a fourth suspect, detonating an explosive device in a street.

The men were suspected of being involved in a massive terrorist plot against targets including foreign ships at the port in Casablanca, our correspondent says.

The targets also included the police headquarters in the city and hotels in the towns of Marrakesh, Agadir and Essaouira, popular with tourists, our correspondent adds.

Worst attack

The hunt for the men followed the death of their alleged leader who blew himself up in an internet cafe in Casablanca last month.

The authorities do not believe he was acting alone and 18 people are being questioned concerning the incident.

Morocco's worst suicide bombing attack was also in the city in 2003 but, our correspondent says, it now seems that the spectre of terrorism has returned.
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