June 4, 2018 / 11:04 AM / 20 days ago

Two killed in abandoned mine in Morocco: agency

RABAT (Reuters) - Two freelance miners have died in a rockfall in an abandoned Moroccan lead mine in a region hit by protests after the similar deaths of two other miners in December, state news agency MAP said.

“Two people, aged 33 and 42, were killed on Sunday after a lead gallery partially collapsed in the commune of Sidi Boubker in the province of Jerada,” it said.

One died at the scene and the other was taken to hospital in the northeastern city of Oujda where he succumbed to his injuries, it added.

Last December, the deaths of two miners in an abandoned mine sparked protests in the impoverished town of Jerada demanding aid and jobs.

Demonstrators clashed with security forces in March after the arrest of several protest leaders.

The government has promised to provide alternative jobs in the area and to seal off all abandoned mines. Residents say the town has been neglected since its coal and lead mines were closed some 20 years ago.

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Andrew Roche

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