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Moroccan Official Blames Al-Qaida for Bombing


Moroccan security commission officers leave the Argna cafe, on Djemma el-Fna square in Marrakech, April 28, 2011

Moroccan security commission officers leave the Argna cafe, on Djemma el-Fna square in Marrakech, April 28, 2011

Morocco's interior minister says the bomb that killed 16 people in a historic square in Marrakech appears to have been the work of al-Qaida.

The minister told reporters late Friday the bomb was detonated remotely, in a style normally used by the terrorist organization.

The blast tore the facade off a two-story cafe in Jemaa el-Fna square - a bustling tourist destination in the heart of Marrakech. Authorities say at least 10 foreigners were among the dead, many of them French citizens.

Morocco was rocked by a series of Islamist extremist attacks in 2003 that left 45 people dead, including 12 suicide bombers.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday described the bombing as a cowardly attack and offered U.S. assistance.

U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon said he was "appalled" by the bombing and said "no political objective justifies or is served by such heinous acts."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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