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At least 296 people killed in Morocco quake

Morocco's popular tourist city Marrakesh was jolted by the strong earthquake
— Casablanca (Morocco) (AFP)

Nearly 300 people have died after a powerful earthquake rattled Morocco Friday night, according to a preliminary government count, as terrified residents of Marrakesh reported "unbearable" screams followed the 6.8-magnitude tremor.

"According to a provisional report, the earthquake killed 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of Al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant," Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement.

Another 153 people were injured, it added.

The quake struck 44 miles (71 kilometres) southwest of tourist hotspot Marrakesh at a depth of 18.5 kilometres at 11:11 pm (2211 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

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