Minaret falls during prayers in Morocco, 36 dead

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February 20, 2010, 7:33 am
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(NECN/2M: Meknes, Morocco) - A mosque minaret has collapsed during prayers killing 36 people and injuring 71 in the old town of the historic Moroccan city of Meknes.

Officials on Friday blamed the accident on heavy rain that had weakened the minaret at the Bab Berdieyinne Mosque, according to a statement released by the Interior Ministry.
Meknes is a UNESCO heritage city and one of Morocco's four imperial cities, east of the capital Rabat.

The king of Morocco has ordered the reconstruction of the mosque, which was built four centuries ago under Sultan Moulay Ismail, who made Meknes his capital.

Heavy rain battered the city Friday, and more rain has been forecast for the next week.

Tags: morocco, Meknes, minaret, mosque
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