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Africa
Morocco dismantles 'terrorist cell'
Police say group was found in possession of chemicals used in the making of explosives.
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2008 06:42 GMT

 Moroccan authorities have been on high alert since the bombings in Casablanca [GALLO/GETTY]

Moroccan police say they have   dismantled a "terrorist network" linked to al-Qaeda and arrested 15 suspects who were planning attacks.

Members of a group called Fath al-Andalous, or the  Conquest of Andalusia, were operating in several towns, and were found in possession of chemicals and electronics "used in the making of explosives", MAP, the state press agency, quoted police as saying on Friday. 

It is the fourth network police claim to have dismantled this year.

"Members of this structure, known as Fath al-Andalous, planned to carry out attacks in Morocco and had established operational links with foreign extremists who have pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda organisation," MAP quoted police as saying.

'Dangerous'

Police did not specify where the suspects were arrested but said the network was present in several Moroccan cities, that those arrested were part of a "dangerous terrorist network" and would be taken to court.

Last month, police arrested 35 alleged recruiters for al-Qaeda operations in Algeria and Iraq who were also accused of planning attacks in Morocco.

In May, police said they dismantled a network planning attacks in Belgium and Morocco. Two of the suspects have since been acquitted.

Morocco has been on increased alert for suspects since the May 2003 suicide bombings in Casablanca five years ago, which killed 45 people.

At least 1,000 suspects are behind bars, either awaiting trial or sentenced on "terrorism" charges in the kingdom.

Source:
Agencies
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