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Morocco Arrests 4 on Suspicion of Forest Arson

Morocco Arrests 4 on Suspicion of Forest Arson

Wednesday, 17 August, 2022 - 07:00
This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows smoke rising from a fire burning in the northern town of Ouazzane, Morocco, Thursday, July 14, 2022. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Morrocco's judicial police brigade of the Mdiq-Fnideq prefecture arrested on Monday evening four people on suspicion of deliberately starting a fire and causing property losses in a public forest estate, the National Police (DGSN) said.

The suspects are aged between 20 and 30. They were arrested as a result of investigations and security operations conducted following the fire that broke out in the Kodiat Tifour forest, near the city of Mdiq, the police said in a statement.

The investigations showed that the accused were present at the scene of the fire and that they started the fire, the DGSN added.

Investigations are underway to determine whether this act had criminal motives or was a mere accident.

“The suspects were remanded in custody at the disposal of the judicial police's investigation conducted under the supervision of the prosecutor's office to determine the circumstances of this case,” the DGSN stated.

In a related development, three members of the General Directorate of Civil Protection died and two others were seriously injured Monday when their vehicle plunged into a ravine while they were fighting the fire that broke out in the Kodiat Tifour forest, local authorities in the province said.

The fire destroyed about 90 hectares of forest cover, according to initial estimates.

The injured were transferred to a special care unit in Tangier to receive the necessary treatment.

The incident occurred at about 10:30pm, when the five victims were on the tanker truck on the way to supply water to extinguish the fire.

However, due to poor road conduct, the truck overturned and fell into a cliff at a depth of more than 220 meters.

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