RealNews

Five Suicide Bombings Kill 41 in Morocco

Just days after U.S. officials warned of possible worldwide attacks by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network, a quick succession of five suicide bombings in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, killed 31 bystanders and 10 terrorists Friday night, officials said Saturday. There was no claim of responsibility. The Moroccan government did not directly implicate al-Qaida, but the attacks confirmed fears that terrorists are striking lightly defended sites. The buildings targeted Friday were the Casa de Espana, a Jewish community center called the Israelite Community Circle, an old Jewish cemetery, the Belgian Consulate and a major downtown hotel. U.S. counterterrorism officials described strong suspicions that al-Qaida was behind the attacks, noting they resembled Monday’s attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, that killed 34 people, including eight Americans. “We can expect more of these,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. There apparently was limited information pointing toward Morocco as a target. In an audiotape released in February, bin Laden described Morocco as one of several U.S. allies “ready for liberation.” Three suspects, all Moroccans, were detained Friday night, the official MAP news agency said. Interior Minister Mustapha Sahel said a wounded suicide bomber was being interrogated by police. Full Story

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