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Boy's murder heightens Western Sahara tension

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Boy's murder heightens Western Sahara tension


Tensions over the disputed territory of Western Sahara have come to the fore after a teenager trying to reach an impromptu camp was shot dead by Moroccan security forces.

Five young people were reported injured in the clash.

The camp has been occupied by several thousand people protesting against poor living conditions.

The Moroccan interior ministry says the 14-year-old boy who died was in a group travelling in two vehicles. He was reportedly hit after shots rang out from one of them, forcing security forces to return fire.

An inquiry has been ordered. The clash happened the day after a visit to Morocco by the UN’s special envoy to Western Sahara. The territory was annexed by Morocco following the end of Spanish colonial rule in 1975.

Talks between the country and the independence movement Polisario are due to take place next month under UN supervision, and in the presence of neighbouring Algeria and Mauritania.

The government in Rabat has offered autonomy for the region, falling short of full sovereignty. The proposal has been rejected by the separarists.

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