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Morocco to Sharply Boost Security Budget Amid Terror Concerns - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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RABAT (AFP) – Draft Moroccan legislation has earmarked nearly 30 percent of the state’s 2008 budget for security, underscoring anti-terrorism concerns after spring suicide attacks, a government source said Saturday.

The state is expected to pour some 45 billion dirhams (4 billion euros, 5.8 billion dollars) into security, a 29-percent boost from 2007.

The funding falls in line with an October pledge by Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi to reinforce the country’s security operations.

In March and April, several suicide bombers attempted attacks in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.

Six suicide bombers killed themselves and a seventh was shot dead by police. One police officer died in the blasts.

That was followed by a failed August attempt to bomb a tourist bus in Meknes, 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Rabat.

Moroccan Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa said last week the country had taken seriously new calls by Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri for a holy war against North African leaders and their French, Spanish and US allies.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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