Saturday, April 30, 2011

Marrakesh attack trying to solve mysteries

The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has strongly condemned the terrorist attack "cowardly" against a tourist café Jemaah el Fna square in Marrakesh, Morocco, that killed 16 people. The U.S. Embassy staff is working with the Moroccan authorities for additional information on the attack. "The United States offers its full assistance to the Moroccan government as they investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice," he added.

Regarding the origin of the attack, the Moroccan interior minister said it was "an act of terrorism caused by an explosive device that caused a strong explosion." Cherkaoui added that "this conclusion was reached after preliminary investigations conducted by the security services," noting that work in identifying foreign victims.

For its part, "U.S. condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that killed and injured innocent people in a cafe in Marrakech, Morocco," said U.S. diplomat in a statement. "We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of this cowardly attack and we support the Moroccan in this difficult time," Clinton said.

The head of the Department of State said that "terrorism can not be tolerated, wherever and whenever they occur." The Security Council United Nations has also condemned in strongest terms the terrorist attack. In a statement issued Thursday, the international organization noted: "All forms of terrorism are criminal and impossible to justify." Sixteen people were killed, the last two in the hospital, and another twenty were wounded in the attack that hit the tourist heart of the city of Marrakesh in southern Morocco, according to latest figures released by the official news agency MAP .

According to police sources told Efe, at least two of the dead are Canadians, while a spokesman for the French Consulate in Marrakech explained that also died a yet unknown number of French citizens in the attack. So far, only the Dutch government has confirmed the existence of one of his countrymen among the dead, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Two others were seriously injured Dutch. The Embassy of Spain in Morocco said that "there is no indication of casualties Spanish." On the other hand, the interior minister said the injured have been taken to hospital Ibn Tofail University, the Ibn Sina military hospital and two private clinics.

A specialized medical team kept informed families of the victims and offers all the necessary psychological support, and has also been made available to those affected a number of telephone support. Shortly before noon, a high-intensity explosion was heard throughout the medina (old town) of Marrakech and destroyed a coffee plant Argana and even affected premises were outside the square.

Police sources said that the scene would have found a "foreign object", which would strengthen the argument of an attack. The causes of what happened are still unclear, and now is considering the option of a suicide bomber had detonated an explosive inside the coffee, or that a young man had left a backpack on the premises and they have been abandoned before the deflagration, local radio reported, quoting witnesses.

King Mohamed VI, who surprised the explosion in the city of Fez, where he chaired a Council of Ministers urged to inform the public of the findings of investigations, said in a statement released by the Royal Cabinet official agency MAP news. Following the Council of Ministers, a Moroccan government delegation headed by Naciri Cherkaoui and moved to the Jemaah El Fna square and then to hospitals where the wounded.

Also, the monarch, who expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, reported that bear the funeral expenses of the deceased. A recent afternoon, the Moroccan police remained blocked near the cafe where the blast occurred while troops were still gathering forensic evidence about the authorship of the attack.

However, despite what happened, the rest of the square and had resumed normal activity and the adjacent streets of the medina again to be populated with tourists and merchants. The on Thursday is the largest attack in Morocco since May 16, 2003, when a string of suicidal acts in the city of Casablanca killed 45 people, including five Spanish.

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