File - Moroccan police officers detain a suspect after his arrest April 26 in Casablanca.
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Casablanca has always had a seedy underbelly.A recent crackdown on the so-called "Tchermil" hooligans – a slang Moroccan term for marinated meat – has boosted the popularity of Morocco's long-distrusted police but has also prompted condemnation by rights groups for the police's tactics.One man reportedly committed suicide on April 20 after police forcibly shaved his head.Police say between April 7 and 25 they arrested 83 men in Casablanca alone and dramatically reduced the rate of muggings.Kaabouche dismissed most of the Tchermil-style photos online – those showing young men posing with motorbikes, alcohol and money – as just wannabe gangsters. But with the renewed public support, he said police have been able to arrest a number of fugitives and brought down muggings by 80 percent in the past month.
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