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Morocco police dismantle militant cell sending jihadists to north Mali

Morocco's Interior Minister says that security forces have dismantled a militant cell sending young men to fight for organizations linked to al-Qaida in northern Mali.

The statement issued Saturday said the cell had inculcated more than 20 Moroccans with al-Qaida ideology and sent them to northern Mali after smuggling them across the closed border with Algeria.

Once in Mali they joined one of the two al-Qaida linked organizations operating in the north.

One man was caught trying to sneak back into Morocco to perform acts of sabotage, the statement added.

Morocco frequently announces dismantling small cells planning terrorist attacks inspired by al-Qaida, but the terror network is not believed to have a real presence in this North African kingdom of 32 million.