A demonstrator holds a picture of Nasser Zafzafi, leader of the Rif region's protest movement, during a demonstration against corruption, repression and unemployment in the northern city of al-Hoceima on May 30, 2017. / AFP / FADEL SENNA
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Several thousand people took to the streets in Morocco after dark Tuesday to demand the release of the leader of months of protests in the neglected northern Rif region.Anti-riot police attempted to disperse the protest, but pulled back following a tense but non-violent standoff with the demonstrators.Smaller protests were held in the capital Rabat and the commercial capital Casablanca but were broken up by police, Moroccan media reported.The mainly ethnically Berber Rif region has long had a tense relationship with Morocco's central authorities, and was at the heart of Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011 .
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