Morocco's king pardons some protesters jailed in unrest

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has pardoned some people jailed during a protest movement that has affected an impoverished northern region for months, slamming politicians and public officials for their "unprecedented irresponsibility."

The king said in a speech Saturday night that he granted early releases and reduced sentences to 1,178 inmates and other convicts, including an undisclosed number of protesters detained during unauthorized demonstrations in the El Hoceima region and other parts of the country.

The official MAP news agency reported that Mohammed VI criticized some officials for displaying an "unacceptable attitude" during the protests that have turned into a major grassroots movement.

The protests were unleashed by the death of a fish vendor who was crushed by a garbage compactor while trying to save fish that officials had confiscated in October.