Morocco court sentences Marrakesh cafe bomber to death
A Moroccan court on Friday sentenced to death the mastermind of the April bombing of a Marrakech cafe, which killed 17 people - most of them tourists, the official news agency MAP reported.
The anti-terrorism court in Sale, twin town of the capital Rabat, sentenced another defendant to life imprisonment, while seven others were given prison sentences of between two to four years, dpa reported.
The death penalty, however, is rarely carried out in Morocco.
The April 28 bombing targeted the Argana cafe in central Marrakech, a tourist magnet serving traditional North African cuisine.
The blast occurred in a historic neighbourhood of Marrakech, a city of 900,000 residents, whose Moorish palaces have turned it into one of Morocco's most popular tourist destinations.
The 25-year-old mastermind, Adil el-Othmani, walked into the cafe pretending to be client, according to the Interior Ministry, planted a bag containing two bombs, and left. The explosives were then set off by remote control, the ministry said.
The government linked el-Othmani to al-Qaeda, but the terrorist network denied involvement in the attack.
The Marrakech bombing was the worst terrorist attack in the North African kingdom since the Casablanca suicide bombings in 2003, in which 33 civilians and 12 bombers were killed.