2011 Marrakesh bombing
Marrakech Bombing Site Late in the Day.jpg
Djemaa el Fna on the day after the bombing
LocationJemaa el-Fnaa Square, Marrakesh, Morocco
Date28 April 2011
before noon (UTC+1)
Attack type
Explosive device
Deaths17
Injured25
PerpetratorsAdil El-Atmani, Abdelhakim Dah and Abdessamad Bettar
Police investigating on the site a few hours after the explosion
Police investigating on the site a few hours after the explosion
The bombing site as it looked in 2006, well before the bombing took place, for comparison
The bombing site as it looked in 2006, well before the bombing took place, for comparison

The 2011 Marrakesh bombing killed 17 people in the city of Marrakesh, Morocco on 28 April 2011, just before noon.[1] The blast, from a bomb left in a bag,[2] destroyed the Argana cafe in Jemaa el-Fnaa square, a popular tourist spot. At least 20 people were injured.[3][4] Most of the dead were tourists, including one group of French students.[5]

Casualties

17 people were killed, of which fourteen died on the site, while three more succumbed to their injuries the next day. 25 people were injured, four seriously, including Russian computer hacker Roman Seleznev, a portion of whose skull was blown off.[6]

The casualties were eight French nationals, including a girl of 10 years, originally from northern France,[7] an Israeli-Canadian woman and her Moroccan husband,[8] another Moroccan citizen,[9] a Briton (Peter Moss, 59, from London who was a former writer for the newspaper The Jewish Chronicle),[10] a Dutchman, a Swiss and a Portuguese.[11] The Swiss and the Portuguese were the companions of two Ticino natives injured in the same attack.

Among the injured, 14 were hospitalised and four were repatriated to their country the next day (two Swiss and two Russians), while others left the hospital after receiving the necessary care. One of the Swiss later died while in hospital in Zurich.[12]

Responsibility

Morocco blamed Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb for the bombing.[13] The group has been fighting an insurgent campaign since 2002. However, Al Qaeda denied responsibility for the blast.[13]

On 28 October 2011, in court in Rabat, Adel al-Othmani was sentenced to death for his role in the bombing. [14] Hakim Dah received a life sentence. Four others were given four years and three were given a two-year sentence for their roles. The defendants complained that the case against them was based on confessions coerced through torture and lacked hard evidence.[15]

International reactions

 Armenia – President Serzh Sargsyan sent his condolences to the King of Morocco and stated his support "in finding the culprits and bringing them to justice".[16]

 France issued a strong condemnation of the blasts; French president Nicolas Sarkozy describing them as "cruel and cowardly".[17] Alain Juppé, the French foreign minister, denounced what it considered to be a "barbaric terrorist attack that nothing can justify", calling for "all light to be shed on this revolting crime, for those responsible to be found, tried and punished".[18]

 Germany urged that the attack "must not stop the reform process that has been initiated in Morocco", referring to the ongoing "Arab Spring".[18]

 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that "the United States condemns in the strongest terms today's terrorist attack that killed and injured innocent people at a cafe in Marrakesh, Morocco. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of this cowardly attack and stand with the people of Morocco at this difficult time."[19]

References

  1. ^ "Marrakesh blast: 'It was a scene of carnage'". BBC News. 28 April 2011.
  2. ^ Martin Jay, For CNN (9 May 2011). "Pressure on Moroccan government spikes over bombing". CNN. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Morocco: Marrakesh bomb strikes Djemaa el-Fna square". BBC News. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Deadly blast devastates Marrakesh cafe – Africa". Al Jazeera English. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Morocco investigates deadly Marrakesh blast". France 24. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  6. ^ Seattle, Associated Press in (8 October 2015). "Russian MP allegedly plotted with imprisoned son to escape US custody". the Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  7. ^ Morocco bombing will not go unpunished: France (AFP)
  8. ^ "Pregnant Canadian, husband killed in Morocco blast". Canada: CBC. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Israeli woman, husband killed in Morocco bombing". Ynetnews.com. 20 June 1995. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Moroccan ambassador writes of 'sorrow' over Peter Moss death". Thejc.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  11. ^ Laing, Aislinn (30 April 2011). "Al-Qaeda explosive used in Marrakesh bomb, investigators reveal, as family mourns slain Briton". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Cristina Caccia non-ce l'ha fatta". RSI (in Italian). CH. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  13. ^ a b John, Mark (7 May 2011). "Qaeda denies involvement in Morocco cafe bomb attack". Reuters. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Marrakesh cafe bomber Adel Othmani given death sentence". BBC News. 28 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Morocco court issues death sentence in cafe attack". Associated Press. 28 October 2011.
  16. ^ "Armenian President sends condolences to King of Morocco". News.am. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  17. ^ "World leaders 'appalled' at deadly Morocco blast". Deutsche Welle. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Blast devastates Marrakesh cafe". Al Jazeera. 28 April 2021. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Terrorist attack at cafe in heart of Moroccan tourist city, 14 dead, 11 foreigners". Global News. 28 April 2021. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021. Retrieved 11 December 2021.

Coordinates: 31°37′28″N 7°59′35″W / 31.6244°N 7.9931°W / 31.6244; -7.9931