Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 16:33 UK

Spain holds Morocco bomb suspect

Soldiers by fence in Melilla
The two were detained in the Spanish enclave of Melilla

Spanish police have detained two men wanted by Moroccan authorities, including one sought in relation to the May 2003 suicide attacks on Casablanca.

One of the men is said to be Ali Aarass, wanted over the attacks which killed 45, including 12 bombers.

The second man is said to be Mohamed El Bay, who is wanted for links to an extremist group broken up last month.

The two men were arrested on Tuesday in Melilla, a Spanish enclave on Morocco's north coast.

Extradition planned

Reports say the pair's homes in the enclave were searched during the operation and a number of documents were taken.

Neither of the suspects faces charges in Spain, which is to start extradition proceedings, Spain's Civil Guard said in a statement.

Map showing Melilla

The attacks in May 2003 targeted a Jewish community centre, a Spanish restaurant and social club, a hotel and the Belgian consulate.

Five explosions occurred within 30 minutes of each other. The blasts were triggered by suicide bombers carrying explosives.

Moroccan authorities have said they disrupted an extremist group planning to carry out terror attacks, and arrested more than 30 people in an operation in February.

The network had plotted to assassinate Moroccan cabinet ministers and members of the North African kingdom's Jewish community, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

According to the Civil Guard, Mr El Bay was on a mission to forge links with traffickers in central Europe in order to gain access to weapons and explosives.

Regions and territories: Ceuta, Melilla
18 Dec 07 |  Country profiles
Morocco terror suspect arrested
09 Mar 07 |  Africa
Italy will not extradite cleric
28 Jan 05 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific