The Maroccan Interior Ministry's official information about the situation in Marocco
"Five people were charred to death inside a bank agency burned down in the northern city of Al Hoceima by trouble makers during acts of vandalism that followed Sunday protets, Interior Minister Taieb Cherqaoui said on Monday in Rabat. The prosecution has launched a probe to determine the causes and circumstances of these acts, Cherqaoui told journalists.
Around 37,000 participated in the peaceful protests that took place in several Moroccan cities at the level of 53 prefectures and provinces, Cherqaoui said.
The protests took the forms of sit-ins, rallies and demonstrations, he explained, adding that "thanks to the expanding liberties, the practice of a healthy and authentic democracy and the right to the freedom of expression enjoyed in our country, these protests took place in a peaceful environment marked by serenity and discipline."
However, after the end of the protests, the cities of Tangier, Tetouan, Larache, Al Hoceima, Sefrou, Marrakech and Guelmim witnessed sabotage acts perpetrated by trouble makers, including minors and ex-convicts, he noted.
These acts were followed by looting and torching of properties, said the minister.
In this respect, 33 institutions and public buildings, 24 bank agencies, 50 shops and private buildings, 66 vehicles and two motorcycles were burned down and damaged, he added.
In Larache, trouble makers stormed into the customs administration building where they looted quantities of drugs and alcohol that were seized by the aforementioned administration, Cherqaoui said.
To put an end to these criminal acts, law enforcement forces, comprised of the National Security (police), the Royal Gendarmerie, and the Auxiliary Forces, proceeded, in accordance with the law, to the dispersion of the mobs and the arrest of individuals presumed to be involved in these acts, the Minister went on to say.
Around 120 are pending trial, while the arrested minors were returned to their guardians, Cherqaoui said, noting that the acts of vandalism left 128 individuals injured, of whom 115 are security forces members.
Probes are underway to bring before justice the rest of the involved, he said, before concluding that public authorities as they are committed to guarantee the freedom of expression, will use the force of law to thwart any attempt at disrupting public order and security or damaging citizens' property."