People shout slogans during a protest after two miners died while working in a clandestine coal mine, in Jerada, Morocco December 26, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal
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Moroccan authorities have arrested two leaders of protests that began last December in the northeastern Moroccan town of Jerada, relatives said Sunday.The accidental deaths in December of two brothers trapped in a mine shaft in Jerada, followed by two other deaths under similar circumstances, gave rise to demonstrations demanding "economic alternatives" for the former coal mining town.Thousands of people have left the city since Jerada's coal mines, once its economic lifeblood, were shuttered in the late '90s.Hundreds of illegal miners risk their lives in closed mine shafts to extract coal, the sale of which is legal thanks to operating permits issued by Moroccan authorities.
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