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Protests

Moroccan unlicensed taxi driver ‘set himself alight after cart seized’

Published: Updated:

A young Moroccan has died after setting himself on fire in protest after officials seized his cart in a town near Casablanca, his brother told AFP on Monday.

Yassine Lekhmidi, 25, an unlicensed taxi driver, died of his injuries in hospital in the North African country’s economic capital on Saturday after self-immolating on July 28, Ahmed Lekhmidi said.

He said Yassine set himself alight in Sidi Bennour in protest at the “unjust” seizure of his cart.

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AFP was unable to confirm the information with the Moroccan authorities.

Ahmed Lekhmidi said the family has demanded an investigation.

Several hundred people demonstrated in Sidi Bennour on Monday to demand “justice for Yassine”, according to a video shown by local media.

Morocco has seen several cases of economically vulnerable people self-immolating as a last resort.

The country’s informal economy accounts for some 30 percent of GDP, according to central bank estimates.

Domestic and international reports have warned of social disparities in Morocco and of the need to better integrate such businesses into the national economic fabric.

A recent study by the national statistics office said the coronavirus pandemic had “profoundly” deepened inequalities.