Demo at Morocco blast site as al Qaeda group deny attack
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 08, 2011, 01:00
Marrakesh: Hundreds gathered to denounce terrorism at the site of a deadly bomb attack in Marrakesh today as al Qaeda's regional offshoot denied any involvement in the atrocity.

Moroccans joined with foreigners based in the city and tourists outside the cafe in Djemaa El Fna Square where the April 28 blast killed 17 people, mainly visitors.

A group known as the February 20 Movement, which is calling for political reform in Morocco, is meanwhile planning to hold a peaceful demonstration at the square tomorrow.

The action came as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) denied all responsibility for the attack in a statement put out by a Mauritanian news agency.

"We deny any link to this explosion and declare we are in no way involved in this operation," said the Friday-dated statement in Arabic carried by the Nouakchott News Agency (ANI).

In the message, AQIM urged Moroccans not to be distracted by the bombing and the charges leveled against the group, and to revolt against their government.

Moroccan authorities had pointed the finger at AQIM following the blast at the Argana cafe in the southern city which attracts thousands of tourists.

Organisers of today's gathering dubbed the event "an orange juice against terrorism" in reference to reports that the bomber ordered the drink before detonating his explosives.

"The idea of the gathering is to drink an orange juice at Djemaa El Fna square in a sign of rejecting terrorism," one of the group said.


First Published: Sunday, May 08, 2011, 01:00

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