Suicide bomber was one of many

RABAT - A Moroccan who blew himself up in a Casablanca Internet cafe was part of a gang of suicide bombers who planned to attack landmarks in Morocco's commercial capital, newspapers reported yesterday.

RABAT - A Moroccan who blew himself up in a Casablanca Internet cafe was part of a gang of suicide bombers who planned to attack landmarks in Morocco's commercial capital, newspapers reported yesterday.

Abdelfattah Raydi, 23, blew up a belt of explosives he was carrying on Sunday night, killing himself and wounding four people after a tussle with a cafe owner in Casablanca's largest slum.

"Five young men recruited by a man in the area of Hay Mohammedi were ready to carry out suicide bombings in Casablanca," said Annass daily, which is considered to be well- informed on security matters.

But Assabah newspaper said the blast was accidental. The real target had been the police and paramilitary headquarters, restaurants and hotels, the paper said, citing unnamed security agencies.

Among those wounded was a young man, identified by police as Youssef Khoudri who tried to flee the scene of the explosion, but was arrested 4km away. He too was wearing a belt of explosives, sources said.

Security officials questioned Khoudri in his hospital bed, but he was too badly hurt to answer, security sources said. Newspapers published pictures showing him seriously wounded on the right side of his face, chest and left hand.

The blast rekindled memories of the 2003 Casablanca attacks that killed 32 people and 13 suicide bombers. - Reuters

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