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Bomb Attacks Kill At Least 24 in Morocco

BY Admin  May 16, 2003 at 10:05 PM EST

The car bomb attacks took place at the Belgian consulate, a Jewish community centre and the Hotel Safir, located in the old heart of the city centre, Morocco’s state news agency, MAP, said.

A fourth bomb was said to have exploded near a Spanish cultural center. Spain is a former colonial power in Morocco.

Two policemen were killed and a security guard injured at the Belgian consulate, the Associated Press reported.

Reuters reported eyewitness accounts of several dead and wounded near Spanish and Jewish cultural centers in the commercial district of the city.

Morocco’s Interior Ministry said the number of dead was about 24 and there were burned out vehicles at the bombing scenes.

Three suspects have been arrested, according to MAP.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said no American targets were hit.

“U.S. counterterrorism officials in Washington had warned Friday of a coordinated effort by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network to strike lightly defended targets worldwide, citing the bombings earlier this week in Saudi Arabia as well as threats in Africa and Asia,” the Associated Press reported Friday.

The Moroccan bombing comes four days after terrorists exploded car bombs at four sites in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing 34 people, including seven Americans. U.S. and Saudi officials have blamed al-Qaida for the attacks.

Al-Qaida has also been blamed for the September 11 attacks in the U.S and the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Moroccan officials arrested more than 30 suspected al-Qaida terrorists last year, according to Reuters.