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Spain minister visits Morocco after Barcelona attack

August 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm

People gather to mourn the victims of the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain on 18 August, 2017 [Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency]

Spanish Interior Minister Juan Inacio Zoido will pay a visit to Morocco today to hold talks with his Moroccan counterpart Abdelouafi Laftit.

“This visit will be characterised by high-level talks on the investigation of recent attacks in Catalonia, in which Morocco cooperates closely with the Spanish security services,” the Spanish Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The report added that Zoido stressed that “cooperation with Morocco in the fight against terrorism is sincere and excellent, in addition to being necessary.”

The visit was “another embodiment of the distinguished relations between Spain and Morocco in the security field, especially in the fight against terrorism, as well as organised crime and human smuggling,” the statement added.

According to the Interior Ministry, a series of joint operations between the Moroccan and Spanish security services have been carried out since Spain lifted its terror threat level to four in June 2015.

It added that these operations enabled the arrest of 175 violent and extremist individuals.

The terror cell behind Spain’s deadly twin attacks was dismantled a fortnight ago and consisted of 12 young men, many of whom were Moroccan who were reportedly acting on behalf of Daesh.

Thirteen people died and scores more were injured when a van drove down a busy tourist spot in Barcelona. A second attack occurred after in the seaside town of Cambrils which left another person dead and six injured.

Read: City of Barcelona officially supports BDS

Finnish authorities on Sunday confirmed that a Moroccan asylum seeker has admitted to killing two women in a knife attack on 18 August after he gave officials a false name when he entered the country in 2016.

Police said the main suspect, who was previously named as 18-year-old Abderrahman Mechkah, was a Moroccan born in 1994, but did not release the suspect’s real name or age.

Eight other people were wounded in the attack in the south-western coastal city of Turku, which is being investigated as Finland’s first terrorism-related assault. However the suspect, who is currently in custody, has admitted to being responsible for the attack but denied any motive of terrorism.