At least 100 people killed and injured in the Moroccan city of Casablanca following suicide attacks
Terrorists exploded four bombs in the coastal city of Casablanca late Friday, killing at least 40 people and injuring 60 others and damaging the Belgian consulate, a Jewish center, a major hotel and a Spanish restaurant, officials said.
At least three of the blasts were from car bombs, and the fourth appeared to be detonated by a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt, according to Moroccan security officials.
The official news agency MAP reported that three suspects were detained. The agency also said that 10 of the dead were attackers.
"They were terrorists, suicide bombers," Interior Minister Mustapha Sahel told reporters. "These are the well-known signatures of international terrorists."
The attacks came just days after deadly terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia.
The blasts appeared to take place almost simultaneously just after 9 p.m., killing at least 24 people and leaving several others injured, the Interior Ministry said. The explosions damaged the Belgian consulate, a Spanish restaurant and a Jewish community center, officials said. Bodies were scattered in the streets. "There are body parts all over the place," a Moroccan journalist told the BBC of the Spanish cultural center scene. In Madrid, a Spanish diplomat said the Casablanca consulate reported three people with explosives entered the Spanish restaurant.
Two of the dead were policemen who had been outside the Belgian consulate, which was heavily damaged, Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Didier Seeuws told the Belgian news agency Belga. A security guard there was among the injured.
Police and rescue workers rushing to the sites and night clubs and restaurants shutting down almost immediately.
But Sahel said later that the situation was under control. "All steps have been taken throughout the territory to ensure order, calm and security in the face of this criminal enterprise."
Joanne Moore, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman in Washington, said no U.S. government facility was targeted.
Abdullah ben Ali, a correspondent in Casablanca for the Arab satellite television station Al-Arabiya, said he witnessed one explosion at the "Casa Espana" nightclub, frequented mainly by Spaniards, and at the Hotel Safir, suggesting Western targets. (Albawaba.com)