Rabat – As clashes between the protesters and police continue to escalate, 20 members of police and security forces were injured Friday evening in Imzouren, 20 km from Al Hoceima.“The city of Imzouren has experienced riots caused 20 minor injuries in the ranks of police and law enforcement members,” according to media reports. “A policeman suffered a broken skull.”Tensions between the protesters and police have grown over the past few weeks in the city of Al Hoceima and its surrounding areas, whose inhabitants have taken to the streets every evening to call for the release of the detained activists, along with the satisfaction of their socio-economic demands. On Thursday, Al Hoceima’s neighborhood Sidi Abid, saw escalating clashes. Dozens of young protesters gathered before sundown and threw rocks at riot police, who responded by firing tear gas and pushing them away.Government spokesperson Mustapha Khalfi announced earlier this week that a total of 86 demonstrators have been arrested.Protests erupted in the region following the death of fishmonger Mouhcine Fikri, who was fatally crushed in a garbage compactor in October 2016. Since then, 700 sit-ins have been held in the region of Al Hoceima.The growing tension sparked following the police’s pursuit and arrest of leading activist Nasser Zafzafi. He was taken to custody last Monday along with other activists after interrupting a Friday sermon he felt was unfairly denouncing the “Hirak” movement. Zafzafi has been charged with “obstructing the right of worship” and “undermining state security.”The investigating judge of Casablanca’s Court of Appeal ordered Zafzafi and six of the 20 detainees to be placed in Casablanca’s Oukacha prison on Monday.

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