The suspects were allegedly involved in throwing stones and rioting against security services.
Rabat – Morocco’s police arrested 157 people, including minors, for their involvement in acts of hooliganism, riots, and throwing stones at security services during Ashura celebrations on Saturday night.
Saturday marked the eve of Ashura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram.
A statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said that hooliganism acts caused injuries among 17 police staff and 11 public forces.
Individuals involved in the acts — largely teenage boys and young men — caused injuries among security staff while stone-throwing and setting off fireworks.
The vandalism also caused damage to public property, including eight cars belonging to national security services.
The statement added that the acts of hooliganism also damaged two cars belonging to local authorities, as well as other cars and private property.
According to the police statement, security operations resulted in the seizure of dozens of car tires that were to be used in setting fires, and about a thousand units of fireworks.
The arrested suspects were planning to use the materials for the Ashura celebrations, which often involve bonfires and fireworks.
The DGSN said that the adult suspects are in custody, while minors are subjected to police surveillance. Investigations are ongoing to determine the involvement of the suspects in the acts of hooliganism attributed to them.
Videos and photos show fires, damaged cars, and shattered glass throughout several neighborhoods in Rabat, including in Yaacoub El Mansour.
Other footage shows a group of people following security staff while throwing fireworks and stones at them.
Over the past week, authorities announced the cancellation of Ashura festivities in several regions across Morocco due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
The cities where festivities were canceled included Beni Mellal and the coastal region of Safi.