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Al-Qaeda denies role in Morocco cafe blast
North African offshoot denies responsiblity for bomb blast at a cafe in the city of Marrakesh.
Last Modified: 07 May 2011 22:14
A Swiss woman died of her injuries on Friday, bringing the total killed in the attack to 17 [EPA]


Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has denied it was involved in a bomb blast on a cafe in the city of Marrakesh on April 28 that left 17 people dead.

AQIM said on Saturday that it was not behind the killings but urged Moroccan Muslims "to liberate their oppressed, jailed brothers and to topple the criminal regime," in a presumed reference to King
Mohammed and his government.

"We deny involvement in the bombing and assure that we have nothing to do with it, neither up close nor from afar," said a statement carried by the Nouakchott Information Agency in Mauritania.

"Although hitting Jews and Crusaders and targeting their interests are among our priorities, which we urge Muslims to act upon and which we seeks to carry out, we choose the right moment and place," said the statement.

On Thursday, police arrested three people in connection to the attack and said the chief suspect was "loyal" to al-Qaeda.

Another death

A Swiss woman died of her injuries on Friday, Swiss authorities said, bringing the total killed in the attack to 17.

AQIM is a pan-Maghreb jihadist organisation that has taken responsibility for a number of attacks, particularly in Algeria.

The group, which previously called itself the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, says it is the local franchise of al-Qaeda.

Moroccan authorities said the chief suspect disguised himself as a guitar-carrying hippie when he planted two bombs in a popular tourist cafe.

The bombs took six months to construct and were detonated by remote control using a mobile phone, authorities said.

Source:
Agencies
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