GENEVA – A 25-year-old Swiss woman died Friday from wounds suffered in last week's explosion at a cafe in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, raising the death toll in the suspected terror attack to 17.
Zurich University Hospital confirmed the death of Cristina Caccia, on the day a funeral was held for her boyfriend, Corrado Mondada, 23, in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona. A third Swiss national — Morena Pedruzzi, 26 — is still in hospital with serious injuries.
Morocco's Interior Ministry said late Thursday that three Moroccan nationals were arrested over the bombing, including the main suspect — a man with loyalties to al-Qaida who had tried to travel to Iraq and Chechnya.
In the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Friday, Interior Minister Taieb Cherqaoui said the leading suspect, who was not identified, had taken six months to produce two bombs of 6 and 9 kilograms each — and had stored the explosives at his family home in the coastal town of Safi, northwest of Marrakech.
Cherqaoui told reporters that the suspect had been expelled from Portugal in 2004, from Syria in 2007, and Libya in 2008.
"He tried to go abroad many times, but when he failed, he decided to do a big attack in Morocco itself," Cherqaoui said.
In France — home to eight of the tourists killed — on Friday, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said he had spoken with Cherqaoui and "he indicated to me that the investigation should continue because it wasn't ruled out there could be other ramifications and more people arrested" over the bombing.
The blast tore through the Argana cafe in Marrakech's popular old town — a popular destination for foreign tourists. The attack was the worst to hit the North African kingdom since 2003, when five simultaneous bombings in Casablanca killed 33 people.
Hassan Alaoui in Rabat, Morocco, and Pierre-Yves Roger in Paris contributed to this report.