A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, December 8, 2014

Key Figure in Morocco's PJD Killed When Hit by Train (?)

Abdellah Baha, a key figure in Morocco's Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), a Minister of State and a man frequently described as the "right-hand man" of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, was killed yesterday when he was hit by a train, according to an announcement by the Interior Minster. Official reports did not make clear if he was on foot or in his car, but an unofficial report had earlier said he suffered a car accident. (See here for a longer account in French.)

The accident reportedly occurred at the town of Bouzika between Casablanca and Rabat, and the news raised some eyebrows since a Parliamentary Deputy from the leftist Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), Ahmed Zaidi, died on November 9 when his car was submerged in the Oued Cherrat river. Some reports suggested Baha was checking out the site where Zaidi died. The coincidence of two national political figures dying in the same town just a month apart in somewhat uncommon accidents may be expected to fuel conspiracy theories. They're probably unjustified, but I'm still not planning to drive through Bouzika just now.

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