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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Morocco passes anti-terror law
Positano restaurant, Casablanca
Western and Jewish targets in Casablanca were hit
Morocco's parliament has overwhelmingly passed a controversial anti-terrorism law in the wake the Casablanca suicide bombings 11 days ago.

All 89 legislators present in the upper house on Tuesday voted in favour of the bill, which broadens the definition of terrorism and increases the number of offences punishable by death.

The measures were withdrawn for amendment in April, following strong criticism from human rights groups, reports the French news agency, AFP.

On 16 May, five bombs near Western and Jewish targets in Casablanca, killing 43 people.


The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says there are indications that the blasts were probably the work of a North African cell linked to al-Qaeda.

In the past, Osama Bin Laden's network has carried out similar co-ordinated suicide bombings against Western or Jewish targets.

The bill was passed by the lower house a week ago but will not take effect until it is gazetted.

It defines a terrorist act as "any premeditated act, by an individual or a group, that aims to breach public order through terror and violence".

'It was like a thunderclap'
17 May 03  |  Middle East
Terror blasts rock Casablanca
17 May 03  |  Africa
In pictures: Casablanca blasts
17 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Country profile: Morocco
03 Mar 03  |  Country profiles


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