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Demo at Morocco blast site as al Qaeda group deny attack

Last Updated: Sunday, May 8, 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

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 8, 2011 - 01:00
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