Leader of main Moroccan opposition group dies: spokesman

Reuters News

12/13/2012 5:42:28 AM - Reuters News

RABAT (Reuters) - The leader of Morocco's main opposition group Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine died on Thursday, a spokesman for the Islamist al-Adl Wal Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality) group said.

Hassan bin Najeh of the group's youth section said Yassine, born in 1928, had been suffering from influenza.

The group, which Yassine formed in 1981, is banned from formal politics but is believed by analysts and diplomats to be the only opposition organization capable of mass mobilization in the North African state.

The group was a major player in protests last year that led the monarchy to institute constitutional reforms to dilute some of its extensive powers.

It was not clear who would succeed Yassine.

(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Janet Lawrence)