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


More from World

Worker dies at World Cup stadium in Qatar

A worker has died in a "work-related" incident at a stadium in Qatar, local organizers for the 2022 World Cup said...

Islamic State militants launch counter-attack in western Iraq

Islamic State forces launched an attack in western Iraq Sunday, an apparent response to an ongoing government...

Choice of White House candidates between "bad and worse," Iran says

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Sunday revealed his low opinion of the two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary...

Ten killed in fighting between regional neighbours in Somalia

At least 10 people have been killed in fighting between forces in the Somali semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and...

Turkey reports more than 35,000 in detention after coup attempt

There are more than 35,000 people in detention in Turkey more than three months after this year's attempted coup,...