RABAT: Morocco could scrap a disputed statutory rape law that favours the perpetrator, excusing them from jail if they marry their victims, the justice ministry said yesterday. The suicide in March 2012 of 16-year-old rape victim Amina Filali, who was forced to marry her aggressor, launched the law into the spotlight and led to intensifying calls for its repeal. The justice ministry said in a statement it supported a proposal by parliament to alter Article 475 of the penal code, under which the rape of a minor is punishable by several years in prison unless the victim and their aggressor wed. The proposal has yet to be formally approved by both houses, however. The ministry said it was prepared to go even further than scrapping the paragraph on marriage, suggesting harsher punishments for rapists of minors, including up to 30 years in prison rather than the current stipulated five.
US drone strike kills
four Qaeda militants
SANA’A: A US drone killed four suspected Al Qaeda militants yesterday in a strike in central Yemen, tribal sources said, in the third such attack in three days. The United States never comments on strikes by its pilotless aircraft, which it has used to track down militants in Yemen for years. The Yemeni government tolerates such strikes but usually does not comment on the US role in specific incidents. Washington has scaled up action against al Qaeda in the strategically important state, where the group exploited widespread anti-government unrest in 2011 to seize swathes of territory in the south. It was subsequently driven out by a military offensive in June last year. Yemen’s defence ministry said in a statement the air strike targeted a vehicle being used by militants in Al Ateef in the central province of Maarib, killing four fighters.
Kuwait suspends port operations due to fog
DUBAI: Kuwait’s port authority suspended maritime operations at ports due to heavy fog, the state news agency reported yesterday.“The entry and exit of ships was partially suspended for safety reasons,” Captain Moussa Behbehani, Director of Shuwaikh Port, told Kuna in a statement. Opec member Kuwait’s crude oil production capacity stands at around 3.1 million-3.2 million barrels per day.Agencies