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Flood Kills 24 in Moroccan Underground Textile Factory

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No fewer than 24 people have died after they were trapped in an illegal, underground textile factory in Morocco’s Tangier city, local authorities said on Monday.

Moroccan news agency MAP reported that the workers were trapped after their textile factory in the cellar of a villa in El Mers area, was flooded by rainwater.

Water poured into the basement area beneath a private house in Tangier. Many of those trapped inside were rescued by a local man who brought them to safety using a rope.

Ten of the survivors rescued by civil protection teams have been taken to hospital. Search teams are currently searching for more trapped workers.

Local reports said those who died were all aged between 20 and 40.

It’s not known how many people were in the building at the time of the flood but rescue workers are still at the scene and an investigation has been launched.

Morocco has experienced heavy rains in recent weeks, with blocked drains leading to flooding cities.

Videos from Tangier over the past few days showed cars completely submerged in water.

Morocco’s textile and leather industry is heavily reliant on informal operations including unregulated factories leading to unsafe conditions for workers.

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Africa’s Largest University Hospital Opens in Tangier

Africa’s largest university hospital, Tangier University Hospital with a capacity of 865 beds has opened in Morocco’s coastal city, Tangier.

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Africa’s largest university hospital, Tanger University Hospital – a 71,000 sqm healthcare facility with 865 beds capacity has opened in Morocco’s coastal city, Tangier.

The hospital, built by Morocco’s Health Ministry – Ministere de la Sante’ (MDS) at a cost of $130 million will help ease pressure on the northern regions’ hospitals.

Tangier is Morocco’s second-largest industrial hub, strategic port, and trade centre with a burgeoning population due to large-scale investments in industry, services, and transport.

The edifice shows two prominent semi-circular volumes linked by glazed pedestrian links and surrounded by planted green courts. Its facade features angled sun-shading fins and peculiar aesthetics that make the building respond to its climatic context.

The port is the largest on the Mediterranean and in Africa by capacity. connecting over 170 ports in 77 countries.

This is outstanding especially for Tangier, which has been one of the worst-hit Moroccan cities by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 865-bed university hospital covers 4 floors, and comprises 15 surgical rooms and a unit for victims of fire accidents.

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Revolution of Smiles: Thousands of Algerians Hit the Streets

The past few weeks have seen renewed demonstrations in the build-up to the February 22 anniversary of the first nation-wide protests, particularly in the traditionally troubled Kabylie region.

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Thousands of protesters returned to the streets in Algiers as Algerians mark the two-year anniversary of the Hirak protest movement that ousted the country’s long-term president from power in 2019.

The 2019–2020 Algerian protests, also known as Revolution of Smiles or Hirak Movement, began on 16 February 2019, six days after octogenarian Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his intention for a fifth presidential bid in a signed statement.  A months-long movement demanding sweeping reform.

Algerian protesters massed up displaying flags in Kherrata, 200 kilometres east of the capital, chanting slogans against the government: “We didn’t come to celebrate but to set ourselves free,” demonstrating again where it all started two years ago.

The unprecedented leaderless protest is demanding a total overhaul of the ruling system, only suspended rallies in March last year as the coronavirus pandemic forced it off the streets.

Following the protests, especially in Kherrata where it started two years ago and quickly snowballed into nationwide demonstrations, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced a government re-shuffle and ordered the release of up to 60 people detained from the Hirak protest movement and vowed to meet all of the Hirak’s demands.

Tuesday’s rally was attended by prominent Hirak figures including Karim Tabbou, who was handed a one-year suspended sentence in December for “undermining national security”.

The past few weeks have seen renewed demonstrations in the build-up to the February 22 anniversary of the first nation-wide protests, particularly in the traditionally troubled Kabylie region.

The protests’ successes were first recorded when former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika gave in to public pressure, announcing in early April his decision to step down after ruling for 20 years.

More protesters have called for a removal of Algeria’s political elites, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression…calling the elections that followed Bouteflika’s resignation a sham.

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Nine Feared Dead as Boat Capsizes in Egypt

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Death toll from capsized Cameroon ferry rises to 17

No fewer than nine people may have died after a boat carrying about 20 people capsized on Lake Mariout in Alexandria, northern Egypt, on Monday night.

Emergency responders rescued seven people, five of whom were injured, with at least four still missing as of Tuesday.

Nine bodies, including two children aged one and a four-year-old, were also retrieved from the waters.

Local media reports claimed the 20 in the boat are all from the same family.

The cause of the capsize is not known, but the governor of Alexandria, Mohammed el-Sharif, said the boat was being used for entertainment purposes without the necessary permits.

He added that boat was small and overcrowded, suggesting a possible cause of the capsizing.

Lake Mariout is a popular destination for cruises and picnics among people living in Alexandria, a large part of which is situated between the lake’s northern shore and the Mediterranean coast.

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