Morocco to resume domestic travel and services

Seats are decontaminated against coronavirus at the Mohammed V airport in Casablanca, Morocco on June 16, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 21 June 2020

Morocco to resume domestic travel and services

  • Domestic travel will resume including flights and railways
  • Most coronavirus cases registered recently were in industrial or among extended families

RABAT: Morocco will further loosen lockdown measures for the services sector and domestic transport starting June 24, the government said on Sunday.
Cafes, restaurants, sports clubs, and other services and entertainment businesses will be able to resume activity at half capacity except in the provinces of Tangier, Larache, Marrakech and Kenitra, where infections remain higher, it said.
Domestic travel will resume including flights and railways, it said. International passenger traffic remains suspended.
Mosques have been closed since the lockdown started on March 20 and the state of emergency has been extended to July 10. Schools will only reopen in September.
Most coronavirus cases registered recently were in industrial or among extended families, with 457 cases on Friday, the largest single-day rise in cases, in a cluster linked to fruit packaging plants north of Rabat, where a field hospital was set up.
Morocco has grouped COVID-19 patients in two hospitals near Casablanca and near Marrakech to free capacity at other hospitals.
By Sunday morning, Morocco had recorded 9,957 cases, including 213 deaths and 8,249 recoveries.
The country has airlifted Moroccan-made medical supplies to 15 African countries, including 8 million masks, protective gear, sanitizer and medicine.


Jets hit Libya’s Al-Watiya Air Base where Turkey may build base

An image grab taken from a video released on July 3, 2020, by the Turkish Defence Ministry shows Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (C) greeting Libyan officials upon his arrival in Tripoli. (AFP)
Updated 06 July 2020

Jets hit Libya’s Al-Watiya Air Base where Turkey may build base

  • Turkish support was vital to the GNA in turning back the LNA offensive with advanced air defenses and drone strikes that targeted Khalifa’s supply lines and troop buildups

BENGHAZI: Warplanes struck overnight at an air base that was recently recaptured by Libya’s internationally recognized government from eastern forces with help from Turkey, a military source with the eastern forces and a resident nearby said.
The strikes were carried out by “unknown aircraft,” the military source with the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said.
A resident at the nearby town of Zintan said explosions were heard from the direction of the base.
Al-Watiya’s recapture in May by the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli marked the start of a sudden collapse of the LNA’s 14-month assault to seize the capital and its retreat along the coast to the new frontlines.
Turkish support was vital to the GNA in turning back the LNA offensive with advanced air defenses and drone strikes that targeted Khalifa’s supply lines and troop buildups.
A Turkish source said last month that Turkey was in talks with the GNA to establish two bases in Libya, one of them at Watiya, the most important air base in western Libya.
Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was in Tripoli for meetings with the GNA on Friday and Saturday and Akar swore to do all that was necessary to help it, a Turkish Defense Ministry statement said.
Last month, the US said Russia had sent at least 14 MiG29 and Su-24 warplanes to an LNA base via Syria, where their Russian airforce markings were removed.
Turkish involvement in Libya has also angered France and Greece and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned of new sanctions on Ankara.
The GNA and LNA are now mobilizing forces at the new frontlines between the cities of Misrata and Sirte.