Moroccan teachers to strike after violent protests

RABAT (Reuters) – Teachers in Morocco will stage a two-day nationwide strike starting on Tuesday after two recent demonstrations for better benefits ended in violence, union officials said on Monday.

Moroccan police had on Thursday and Saturday clashed with teachers demonstrating in the capital Rabat. Organisers said 170 people were injured in Saturday’s clashes.

“Unions will show their solidarity with the teachers and condemn the barbarous way the peaceful demonstration of teachers was suppressed and stage a 48-hour strike,” three Moroccan unions representing teachers said in a statement.

Local organiser Said Nazizi said 165 people were hurt, 65 seriously, including people with broken limbs or gashes from beatings by police. Unions said 50 were taken to hospital.

Interior Ministry and police officials declined to comment on the violence.

Various groups have stepped up protests in Morocco in recent weeks, emboldened by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Tens of thousands gathered in cities across the kingdom earlier this month in one of the largest anti-government protests in decades.

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE72R0FH20110328

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