RABAT - Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) denied on Saturday it was involved in a bomb attack on a cafe in Marrakesh last week that killed 16 people including eight French nationals.
Police in Morocco arrested three people on Thursday for the April 28 attack and said the chief suspect was "loyal" to al-Qaida.
AQIM said it was not behind the killings but urged Moroccan Muslims to escalate a protest movement "to liberate their oppressed, jailed brothers and to topple the criminal regime," in a presumed reference to King Mohammed and his government.
"We deny involvement in the bombing and assure that we have nothing to do with it, neither up close nor from afar," said a statement carried by the Nouakchott info agency in Mauritania.
"Although hitting Jews and Crusaders and targeting their interests are among our priorities, which we urge Muslims to act upon and which we seeks to carry out, we choose the right moment and place," said the statement.