A total of four suspected suicide bombers have been killed in police raids in Casablanca. During a dawn swoop yesterday, one was shot dead by police while another blew himself up rather than surrender. The other two suspects fled but were unable to escape a police cordon set up around a deprived district in Morocco’s economic capital. Both detonated explosive belts they were wearing later on in the day when they realised they were trapped. The third explosion also killed a policeman.
The raids were part of a police operation that began last month, when the alleged leader of a suicide bomber cell blew himself up when faced with arrest. He had been reported to police for suspicious behaviour in an internet cafe.
Authorities believe the group of around twelve members were plotting to attack tourist sites and police buildings to show their defiance at Morocco’s support of the US’ so-called ‘war on terror’. The country’s been on alert since 2003 when 13 suicide bombers killed themselves and 32 others in central Casablanca.