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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Morocco 'bomber brother' killed
Policeman restrains Casablanca resident
The police raid took place in an impoverished residential area
One of the three suspected militants who blew themselves up during a police raid in Morocco is the brother of an internet cafe bomber, officials say.

Four suspected Islamist militants and a police officer died in three explosions in the city of Casablanca on Tuesday.

A BBC correspondent says Abdelfattah Raydi, who blew up the internet cafe in the city last month, is believed to have led a major militant cell.

Suicide bombers killed more than 40 people in Casablanca in 2003.

They targeted the city's ancient Jewish centre, tourist spots and a diplomatic complex.


The BBC's Richard Hamilton in Morocco says calm has returned to the streets of Casablanca after one of the country's bloodiest days.

It happened so suddenly, and we just began to hear heavy gunshots and then there was an explosion
Khadir, Casablanca
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It has emerged that police received a tip-off before they surrounded a house in the poor El Fida district.

The interior ministry says that one of the men who blew himself up on Tuesday was the brother of the internet cafe bomber.

Mr Raydi was released from prison by royal pardon after being arrested in connection with the 2003 Casablanca bombings.

Police said the man they shot dead, named as Mohamed Mentala, was wanted in connection with the 2003 attacks.

Our correspondent says it is now known that two of those apprehended on Tuesday were also sought in connection with that event.

'Maghreb al-Qaeda'

Moroccan analyst Mohamed Ben-Madani told the BBC many Moroccans would find Tuesday's events in Casablanca shocking.

The Maghreb Review editor says the militants are believed to belong to al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

"This group trained in Algeria and have learned their techniques from Iraq as well as in Afghanistan," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

He says the group have recently been active in Tunisia and Mauritania.

"But their main training, recruitment and finance is from Algeria where from the beginning of April this year 33 Algerian soldiers have lost their lives to them," he said.

"It's very hard to contain this group which has become more and more violent, so Morocco is very concerned - particularly as elections are coming up in September."

Your accounts:

This morning [Wednesday], I drove by the area where the events happened, there was still many police officers as well as fire brigades and TV crews, but it seems that everything is ok.
Abdelilah, Casablanca

I was two streets away from the action. It happened so suddenly, and we just began to hear heavy gunshots and then there was an explosion. We tried to get closer but were stopped from the raging battles and the huge number of police. I never knew this could happen so close to home. It was surreal. Until it starts and even during it, you can hardly believe it is actually happening.
Khadir, Casablanca

I was in Morocco last month for 5 days. I was there 2 years ago and things seemed far more tense (religiously) - the security presence around the train station in particular was noticeable and the medina was very very tense, so I am not totally surprised by what has happened. I was in Marrakech this time, unlike last time where I was in addition in Casablanca. I personally did not feel 100% safe compared to the last time. It's a shame because I am also very sure that the vast majority of Moroccans that are law-abiding and very very kind. Compared to where I am working at the moment, I feel much safer here than in Morocco this time around.
Stephen, Tunis ,

I was in Casablanca Monday and Tuesday; everything completely calm and normal. the discussion with my driver was about general; even he didn't seem to know; I did not find out until the airport lounge where they had euronews on the tele...
rachid, paris

Everything is calm here but security is tight at the main airport in Casablanca. Moroccans are realizing more and more that they are targeted by international terror organizations. This event reminds us of similar ones in Saudi Arabia where after few similar incidents, it seems that authorities dismantled many terror cells.
Saad, Rabat, Morocco

I was aware of this story early yesterday (10/4) but the city was absolutely normal. I visited two open markets in the town centre and life was as usual, there was not even any unusual police presence... Police are tough here but if you behave yourself, you have no problems.
John Dyson, Casablanca, Morocco

The situation is calm in the city, events occurred in the outskirts of Casablanca 15km from downtown.
Ali Amar, Casablanca, Morocco

Oh my God, I am so scared and shocked by these terrible actions. Hopefully this will be the last bomb I see in my life because seriously I cannot stand this anymore. Please help us find a solution to end this problem.
larbi, Casablanca

The aftermath of the bombings

Bomb carnage shocks Morocco
17 May 03 |  Africa


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