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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 15:36 GMT
Tragic end for smuggling donkeys
By Mohamed Arezki Himeur
BBC, Algiers

Smugglers in Algeria have reportedly come up with a novel way to get their contraband into Morocco - donkeys, with tape recorders on their backs.

A taped message is repeated, saying "Err", Arabic for "walk", so that the donkeys do not stop as they follow the smugglers' tracks unaccompanied.

However, the customs service learnt of the ruse and has killed 200 of the donkeys, says the El Khabar newspaper.

The border was closed 10 years ago after a bomb attack in Morocco.

But the the killing of donkeys have sparked protests by some villagers who say the action is criminal.

They say that killing the animals would not put an end to smuggling.

The trained donkeys leave Bab El-Assa in Algeria laden with goods for Morocco.

When they reached Ahfir in Morocco, they are met by smugglers who unload their cargo.

The animals are then sent on their return journey loaded with different goods bound for the Algerian market.


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