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Morocco cancels increases in food prices amid riots

King Hassan II rolled back food price increases Sunday which had triggered four days of violence in northeast Morocco. The King said he ordered his government to scrap the increases, begun last last August, which added up to 67 percent to the price of butter, oil, sugar, and other basic foodstuffs.

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It was the first official statement since violence erupted Thursday in Morocco's Mediterranean coastal region about 300 miles northeast of here. The King gave no official figure for the dead and injured in the disturbances, but Spanish newspaper reports said more than 240 people were killed.

King Hassan denied the price increases were the primary cause of the rioting and instead pinned the blame on leftists, the Israeli secret service, and pro-Iranian elements intent on undermining last week's summit meeting of more than 40 Islamic nations in Casablanca.

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