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Morocco Sentences 10 to Death on Murder Charges - 2003-07-12

In Morocco, 10 alleged members of a militant Islamist group have been sentenced to death for murder. The militant group is suspected of involvement in suicide attacks that killed more than 40 in Casablanca in May. The men sentenced to death were among 31 suspected members of the Salafist Jihad group. They were arrested before the May attacks. They were convicted of planning or carrying out several murders, including the killing of a Casablanca policeman and others they deemed to have violated Islamic code.

In addition to the death sentences, the Casablanca appeals court sentenced eight defendants to life in prison, and the rest to jail terms ranging from 10 to 20 years.

Among those given the death sentence was suspected Salafist Jihad leader Youssef Fikri, who admitted in court to having killed "enemies of God."

Following the suicide bombings in Casablanca, in which 12 bombers blew themselves up at four different locations, Moroccan police rounded up more than 100 suspects, some due to come up for trial later this month.