Morocco arrests 52 suspected of Islamic State links in crackdown

Moroccan authorities have arrested 52 people suspected of having links with the Islamic State extremist militia, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

The 52, now in police custody, were nabbed in a major crackdown launched on July 19 targeting 143 people suspected of loyalty to Islamic State, the ministry said in a statement carried by Morocco's state news agency.

The suspects allegedly planned to set up an Islamic State branch in Morocco, according to the ministry.

"This pre-emptive operation has resulted in aborting terrorist plans that reached very advanced stages and targeted prisons and security institutions in the kingdom as well as killing civilians, military and terrorists," the statement said.

In recent months, Morocco has stepped up swoops on suspected militants following a string of attacks Europe claimed by Islamic State.

Hundreds of extremists in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are believed to have joined Islamic State, which is active in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Last update: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 15:37
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