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King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Saturday pardoned more than a thousand detainees, some of whom were under arrest for taking part in protests in the troubled northern Rif region, the justice ministry announced. The monarch pardoned a total of 1,178 people, including a number who had joined demonstrations in the northern port city of Al-Hoceima and surrounding area, the ministry said in a statement, issued shortly before King Mohammed made a televised speech to mark 18 years on the throne. The Rif, a predominantly Berber region where Al-Hoceima is located, has been gripped by months of unrest.
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