Dozens of Moroccans injured in clashes with police

Rabat – Dozens of people were injured in Morocco when riot police dispersed pro-democracy rallies in several cities, media reports said Monday.

Police wielding batons chased demonstrators in the capital Rabat on Sunday, reports said.

A total of about 60 activists were injured in Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir and Tangier, representatives of the so-called February 20 protest movement said. Officials put the number injured at about 20 demonstrators and police officers.

Activists say Morocco has stepped up crackdowns on demonstrators, who have been demanding more democracy, freedoms and better living conditions.

The movement does not question the monarchy itself. King Mohammed VI tried to calm the protests by announcing a constitutional reform reducing his powers and increasing those of the government and parliament.

Recently, however, the government issued a communique complaining that the protests were hampering traffic and commercial activity.

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