Morocco halts fresh food shipments to Spanish city

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 18, 2010 16:34

MELILLA, Spain — Truckers who transport food from Morocco to this Spanish enclave in North Africa suspended shipments of perishable goods on Wednesday amid a simmering dispute over alleged brutality by Spanish police.

But the threat of a lengthy commercial blockade could be easing with a reported agreement by Moroccan protesters to suspend it until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The decision by truckers to stop hauling goods into Melilla came in response to demands by Moroccan protesters who blocked them from entering for a brief period Tuesday night. It was the second time in a week that Melilla faced shortages of fish, fruit and vegetables.

Spanish media reported that the protesters had reached a deal with traders who sell the food in the city of about 70,000 to allow the trucks to resume shipments Thursday, putting off the prospect of a long-term blockade until September.


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