Morocco royal guards killed in bus crash: 16 dead, 8 seriously wounded


French President Francois Hollande reviews an honour guard with Morocco's King Mohammed VI and Crown Prince Moulay Hassan during a welcoming ceremony in Casablanca on April 3, 2013.


Betrand Langlois

Sixteen members of Morocco's royal guards were killed in a bus accident on Saturday.

The guards were headed north to al-Hoceima for the arrival of King Mohammed VI.

The bus plunged into a ravine near al-Hoceima in the early morning but it remains unclear why it swerved off the road.

Al Hoceima is about 280 miles northeast of the capital, Rabat.

Eight of the guards are said to be in serious condition.

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King Mohammed VI has been Morocco's ruler since 1999. The King was in Rabat on Saturday to mark his accession to the throne.

The King said after the crash that he would cover the funeral and medical costs for the victims and their families.

The guards are said to accompany the king wherever he travels to in the country.