Morocco makes new arrests over lynching of suspected thief
RABAT - Four more people were arrested on Tuesday over the lynching of a suspected thief in a marketplace of central Morocco, local authorities said.
Officials and media had reported that a crowd fatally injured a man and seriously hurt his alleged accomplice Thursday in the town of Midelt after accusing them of theft.
Police arrested "four new suspects connected with the death of a person attacked at the weekly market", taking to five the number of people detained in the case, MAP news agency quoted a statement issued by local authorities as saying.
The man in his 50s died in hospital, while the other suspect, aged around 20, was left in critical condition, after a crowd of merchants and onlookers beat and stomped on them, Medias24 website reported.
Website Le360 cited security sources as saying the two were "bandits" who had robbed a livestock breeder on his way to the market of more than 2,000 dirhams ($207).
Others breeders from the market caught up with them and pummelled them with clubs and rocks, it said.
The lynching came after a crowd in the city of Fez, also in central Morocco, pounced on a presumed homosexual in public because of his appearance, leading to an investigation in which two suspects were arrested.
Homosexual activity is punishable in Morocco by up to three years in jail.
The justice ministry warned at the time it would act firmly "against those who stand in for the law, which is the sole preserve of the state".