Morocco 'dismantles terrorist cell'


Morocco says it has dismantled a terrorist cell that planned to set up a training camp in the Rif mountains.

The interior ministry said police had arrested nine suspects and seized several items, including black flags symbolising al-Qaeda.

Officials said the nine were caught following the arrests of two "militant Salafists" near Rabat in October.

On Wednesday, German police arrested a French national wanted by Morocco in connection with bombings in 2003.

Those attacks, in Casablanca, killed 45 people.

In the latest arrests, five of the nine were remanded in custody while the other four were taken for "further investigation" by judicial police, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The statement said investigations had revealed a plot to install a training camp in the northern Rif mountains "in order to carry out terrorist acts against public authorities".

It said the alleged cell members intended "to make explosives" and to take over "commercial premises in Sale to finance their criminal plans".

The ministry said the group had also set up a fake security checkpoint near the town of Ouazzane.

In April 2011, 17 people died in a bomb attack on a Marrakesh cafe. However, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb denied involvement.

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