Morocco: 5 found dead after pro democracy protests

February 21, 2011 15:30

Country's interior minister says bodies found in bank set aflame by troublemakers on sidelines of nationwide demonstrations.

Moroccan leader of a group of young activists

Morocco protests 311. (photo credit: AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

RABAT, Morocco  — Moroccan Interior Minister Taeib Cherqaoui said Monday that five charred bodies were found in a bank set aflame by troublemakers on the sidelines of one of many nationwide protests pushing for more democracy in the kingdom.

The interior minister told reporters that at least 128 people were injured — mostly security forces — in unrest linked to protests a day earlier that drew at least 37,000 demonstrators in dozens of towns and cities.

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Cherqaoui said that "troublemakers" vandalized dozens of public buildings, stores and banks, including one in northeastern Al Hoceima where the five bodies were found. He said 120 people were arrested.

The demonstrations marked Morocco's entree into a wave of protests across the Arab world after popular uprisings toppled longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt.

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