Morocco bombing accomplices get death

A Moroccan court has sentenced four men to death for their involvement in the May wave of near-simultaneous suicide bombings that killed 32 bystanders.

    Relatives of defendants waiting for the verdict

    The four were convicted on Tuesday of having plotted to blow themselves up in the 16 May attack in the coastal city of Casablanca.

    Three were would-be suicide bombers who had survived while the fourth was a leader of the organisation responsible for the attacks.

    They were among dozens of defendants in a trial of members of an obscure Moroccan group, the Salafia Jihadia. Rabat authorities claim the group is linked to al-Qaida.

    The 87 defendants were handed sentences ranging from 10 years in prison to death.

    Security was tight at the trial, with defendants lined up behind a bulletproof glass shield and a metal detector in the courtroom.

    The trial was the first of several expected for hundreds of suspects rounded up after the attacks in Casablanca in which a dozen suicide bombers also died.

    The assailants used homemade explosives stuffed into backpacks and detonated them at almost precisely the same time in five locations: a major downtown hotel along with Jewish and Spanish sites.

    Investigators have said the bombers were all drafted from a shantytown on the edge of Casablanca.

    The bombings stunned the North African kingdom which had prided itself on the peace that prevailed despite violence in neighbouring Algeria.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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