Morocco: What we know about the attack on a Belgian national and the “assassination” of a French tourist in Agadir

France and Belgium, united in the face of terrorism. A Belgian national was stabbed and a French tourist was murdered on Saturday in Agadir, Morocco.

The federal prosecutor’s office of Belgium announced this Thursday the opening of an investigation for “attempted assassination in a terrorist context”. The evening before, the French anti-terrorist justice had opened an investigation for “assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise” after the murder of a tourist, not far from there in the south of Morocco.

Both cases were attributed by the Moroccan police to the same suspect, a 31-year-old man arrested the same day in Agadir. “Faced with these two facts, the Moroccan judicial authorities have decided to open a case for terrorism,” said Thursday the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, which says it works in close collaboration with the French and Moroccan justices.

Moroccan investigators had already said they suspected “a terrorist motive for the crime” concerning the murder of the French tourist, a 79-year-old woman killed in a Tiznit market with a knife.

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Regarding the attack on the Belgian national, also with a knife, the federal prosecutor’s office specifies that it took place “Saturday at the end of the day in Agadir”. This 65-year-old woman, who resides in Morocco, “is severely injured” but “her life is not in danger”, indicates the prosecution, in a press release, citing “local doctors”. This woman is from the region of Mons, in French-speaking Belgium (south), and the investigations were entrusted to the anti-terrorist section of the federal judicial police of Charleroi.

Following the murder of the French tourist, the French government, via its embassy in Morocco, “recommended to be vigilant in all public places and when traveling in Morocco”.

The kingdom has been spared in recent years from violence linked to jihadist groups. However, Morocco was the scene at the end of 2018 of an attack against two Scandinavian tourists, beheaded in the name of the Islamic State (IS) organization in the High Atlas mountains (south).

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