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Moroccan MP killed in attack by shotgun assassins

Abdellatif Merdas shot dead in attack as he drove through Casablanca in official car
The scene of the attack in Casablanca (screengrab)
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A Moroccan MP has been shot dead in Casablanca, local media reported on Wednesday.

Abdellatif Merdas was killed late on Tuesday near his home in the well-off southern district of Californie.

His assassins fled the scene. 

The 53-year-old was in his official car when he was hit three times by shotgun fire, private news websites reported.

They showed photos of the scene and the car with broken windows. 

Merdas was a member of the liberal Constitutional Union (UC) party, representing the Ben Ahmed district 60km south of Casablanca. 

"The Constitutional Union denounces this despicable criminal act against one of our leaders," the party said in a statement, adding it hopes an investigation will reveal the perpetrators of the "crime."

An individual with a judicial record suspected of being connected to the murder has been arrested, according to a statement from the General Directorate of National Security released on MAP state news agency.

Almost five months after elections in October, Morocco is caught in a political deadlock between its Islamist party prime minister and coalition partners over the formation of a new government he will lead. 

Moroccan police said on Wednesday that a suspect had been arrested.

"This individual with a criminal record is suspected of an alleged link to the armed homicide that killed a member of parliament Tuesday night," said a statement carried by the official MAP agency.

Shootings are rare in Morocco, where there are few illegal firearms.