RABAT: Abdessalam Yassine, leader of Morocco's Justice and Charity Islamist movement, died on Thursday aged 84, the banned but tolerated group's spokesman told AFP.
The founder of the movement, known as Adl wal Ihsan in Arabic, died at around 0730 GMT, Fathallah Arsalane said.
His funeral is due to be held during weekly Muslim prayers on Friday at the Sunna mosque in central Rabat, with a large crowd likely to attend.
As founder of Morocco's most popular Islamist movement, Sheikh Yassine had running problems with the authorities during the so-called Years of Lead under the late king Hassan II, when he was imprisoned twice and placed under house arrest.
The movement he created in 1973 advocated establishment of an Islamist state. It actively participated in Arab Spring protests that erupted in Morocco in February 2011.
But it distanced itself from the February 20 protest movement in December last year, considering its demands too limited.