Moroccan police break up rally, hurt dozens-witness

RABAT (Reuters) – Dozens of people were injured in Morocco’s biggest city, Casablanca, on Sunday when riot police used truncheons to break up a rally by several hundred demonstrators demanding reforms, witnesses said.

“This was a peaceful rally, we don’t know what made the police attack a peaceful protest,” Ghizlaine Benameur, an opposition activist who took part in the rally, told Reuters by telephone from Casablanca.

“This has been their most violent intervention since the start of the protests last month,” she said.

Spokesmen at Morocco’s interior ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

The demonstrators had gathered in Casablanca’s main King Mohammed Square for the rally, which organisers said was no different from demonstrations they had held every week for the past month.

Two Casablanca residents confirmed that riot police broke up the protest with truncheons. “I live in the city centre, it looks like it is under siege,” said one resident who did not want to be identified.

“Dozens of protesters ended up with broken ribs, fractured arms and concussion,” as a result of truncheon blows by the police, said Ahmed Mediani, a protester who was briefly arrested.

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