UPDATE 1-Thousands in Morocco march for rights, end to graft

Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:37pm GMT

* Thousands of Moroccans demand change, end to corruption

* Protesters say king has reneged on promises for reform

* Demonstrations add to wave of unrest across North Africa

(Adds official estimate of protester numbers, quotes)

By Souhail Karam

RABAT, March 20 (Reuters) - Thousands took to the streets in cities across Morocco on Sunday demanding better civil rights and an end to corruption in the moderate North African country where the king this month promised constitutional reform.

"Morocco should start drawing some serious lessons from what's happening around it," said Bouchta Moussaif, who was among at least two thousand people marching alongside the city's medieval walls in the capital Rabat.

Thousands joined protests in Morocco's main city, Casablanca, in Tangiers in the north, and in Agadir on the Atlantic coast where witness Hafsa Oubou said several thousands were marching.

A government official said at least as many were protesting as on Feb. 20 when interior ministry estimates were 37,000.   Continued...

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