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Road Accident in Morocco Kills 24 People: Officials

One of Morocco’s worst-ever road accidents left 24 people dead Sunday in the central province of Azilal, officials said.

They were killed when a minibus carrying passengers to a weekly market in the town of Demnate overturned on a bend, the local authorities said.

They added that an investigation has begun.

Accidents are frequent on the roads of Morocco and other North African countries, which see thousands of road deaths annually.

In March 11 people, mostly agricultural workers, died when their minibus slammed into a tree after the driver lost control in the rural town of Brachoua, local officials said at the time.

Many poorer citizens use coaches and minibuses to travel in rural areas.

In August last year, 23 people were killed and 36 injured when their bus overturned on a bend east of Morocco’s economic capital Casablanca.

An average of 3,500 road deaths and 12,000 injuries are recorded annually in Morocco, according to the National Road Safety Agency, with an average of 10 deaths per day.

The figure last year was around 3,200.

Authorities have set out to halve the mortality rate by 2026 ever since the worst bus accident in the country’s history left 42 dead in 2012.

On July 19 in neighboring Algeria 34 people were killed when a passenger bus collided head-on with a pickup truck carrying fuel cans and burst into flames, deep in the southern Sahara region, officials said.

The North African country’s deadliest road crash in years also left 12 others injured, many with severe burns, Algeria’s civil defense agency said.

National gendarmerie official Samir Bouchehit said the truck was carrying cans of gasoline and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Libya’s roads have ranked among the deadliest in the world.

The Libyan interior ministry’s traffic department recorded 4,115 road accidents across the country in 2018, killing 2,500 people and injuring more than 3,000 others.

One of Tunisia’s worst road accidents occurred in 2019 when at least 24 Tunisians were killed and 18 injured when a bus plunged into a ravine.

About 7,000 people lost their lives on the roads of Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, in 2020, according to official figures.

Sudan recorded around 10,000 annual traffic fatalities between 2016 and 2019, according to the World Health Organization and the World Bank.