Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Morocco 'terror' attack kills 16

The international police agency Interpol has called the attack on a crowded tourist cafe in Marrakech a suspected suicide bombing.

Police have sought to restore calm and investigators worked to determine how the attack was carried out and who was responsible.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the death toll was 15, and that seven of the victims have been identified, from France, Canada, the Netherlands and Morocco. The state news agency MAP had earlier put the death toll at 16. More than 20 people were wounded.

MAP said two people died of injuries in the hospital. The emergency room chief at Marrakech's main Tofail Hospital told The Associated Press that one of the injured died at the hospital and another en route in an ambulance.

Morocco's deadliest attack in eight years hit the heart of the city's bustling old quarter, in Djemma el-Fna square, one of the top attractions in a country that depends heavily on tourism.

Government spokesman Khalid Naciri told the AP it was too soon to lay blame for what he called a terrorist attack.

Two of the dead were a Jewish couple who lived in Shanghai, an Israeli citizen and her Moroccan husband, according to the Israeli consul in Shanghai, Jackie Eldan. They were visiting his parents in Casablanca and had taken a day trip to Marrakech, leaving their three-year-old son with his grandparents.

"They took a day off to go to Marrakech and left the child with the family. To their misfortune, they were in the cafe on the second floor" when the bombing hit, Eldan told Israeli station Army Radio on Friday.

The international Jewish outreach group Lubavitch identified the couple as Messod and Michal Wizman, 32 and 30 respectively.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the "cowardly attack" and promised support for Morocco, while Interpol offered its assistance in the investigation, including disaster victim identification specialists and support from terrorism investigators.


From Belfast Telegraph