Bombing dents Morocco's image as a tourist haven

Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:15pm GMT

* Crowds smaller at square in the heart of Marrakesh

* Harder to encourage tourists to come and to return

By Zakia Abdennebi

MARRAKESH, Morocco, April 29 (Reuters) - Some tourists snapped the wreckage on their mobile phones. Some just wept.

The crowds in the Jamaa el-Fna, at the heart of Morocco's main tourist city, had dwindled on Friday, a day after a bomb killed 15 people at a Marrakesh cafe, most of them foreigners taking in the square's ever-moving spectacle.

"We arrived last night and decided to stay even after hearing the news, thinking that lightning cannot strike the same place twice," said David Collet, a Frenchman, stopping with a friend at an orange juice stall.

"It is also the best thing to do, to stand up to terrorism," he said.

Morocco has described the bombing as a terrorist attack, its deadliest in eight years. It has not said who was responsible for the explosion, likely to inflict damage on a tourist industry on which millions depend in the North African country.   Continued...

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