Moroccans defy a government ban and take part in a demonstration in the northeastern former mining town of Jerada demanding an "alternative economy" and the release of jailed activists on March 16, 2018. AFP / FADEL SENNA
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Moroccan authorities have promised to close all abandoned mines in Jerada after months of unrest in the former mining town in the country's northeast.Jerada has seen waves of peaceful demonstrations since the deaths in December of two brothers trapped in an abandoned mine shaft, as they tried to illegally mine coal.Demonstrations resumed again earlier this month after authorities arrested protest leaders, prompting the Interior Ministry to ban all "illegal demonstrations" in the poverty-stricken town of 43,000 people.Violent clashes Wednesday last week left more than 300 police officers and 32 demonstrators injured, according to Gourji.The two sides have accused each other of provoking the violence, the first since protests began.
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