22 Feb 2011

'Five bodies' found burned after Morocco protests

6:29 pm on 22 February 2011

Five burned bodies are reported to have been found in a bank that was set on fire following anti-government protests in Morocco.

Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui says the bodies were discovered in the northern town of al-Hoceima.

He says the protests in al-Hoceima and other towns and cities were peaceful, but acts of vandalism and looting took place after the rallies.

So far there has been no independent confirmation of the deaths in al-Hoceima, the BBC reports, and it is not clear how the five died.

Protests have spread across the region since popular movements in Tunisia and Egypt forced out leaders.

However, analysts say that - unlike other countries that have seen protests - Morocco has a successful economy, an elected parliament and a reformist monarchy, making it less vulnerable to a major uprising.