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Thousands protest in Morocco over new coal mine ‘martyr’

Rabat, Morocco | AFP | Thousands of people staged a protest Friday in an impoverished Moroccan city over the latest fatality in the region’s “mines of death”, the third such victim since December, witnesses said.

The protest was staged outside the morgue of the hospital in the northeastern town of Jerada, where security forces were deployed to keep order in the wake of Thursday’s deadly accident.

Shops stayed shuttered as the crowd accompanied the body of the latest “martyr” of the area’s abandoned coal pits, Abderrahman Zakaria, 32, to the cemetery for his funeral.

The government said a ministerial delegation would soon visit the region to look into the grievances of local residents.

Mass protests against economic marginalisation broke out in the city in December after two brothers died in a tunnel accident.

Each day hundreds of people risk their lives to extract coal by hand from the shuttered pits.

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