Rabat, Morocco: The U.S. consulate in Casablanca has shut down temporarily to beef up security a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up about 60 metres from the already fortified building, U.S. officials said on 15 April 2007.
A statement from the U.S. embassy in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, did not say when the consulate would resume its services to the public.
The bombing took place seconds after another suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt nearly two metres away from the U.S. cultural centre on the same street.
The two suicide bombers, Mohamed Baha and his brother Omar, killed only themselves in the blasts and no one was wounded.
Saturday’s targeted attacks in Casablanca were the first in Morocco since 2003 when suicide bombings killed 45 people in the North African country’s commercial capital.
They came four days after a police raid in a working class neighbourhood in Casablanca where three bombers blew themselves up to avoid arrest and a fourth was shot dead.
Analysts see the recent blasts in Morocco, and twin explosions that killed 33 people in neighbouring Algeria, as the latest signs of a growing threat from radical Islamists in North Africa who recruit followers among the region’s poor.
Al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, an affiliate of the global Al Qaeda network of Osma bin Laden, claimed responsibility for Algiers’s worst bombings in years last week in an Internet statement.