Details are still coming out about last week's attempt by members of the Moroccan Air Force to kill king Hassan and take over the government.
GV EXTERIOR..conference centre in Rabat
GV INTERIOR..Dr. Benhima, Minister of Interior faces newsmen (2 shots)
CU Benhima speaks in French
Initials ES. 1500 ES. 1510
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Background: Details are still coming out about last week's attempt by members of the Moroccan Air Force to kill king Hassan and take over the government.
At a news conference in Rabat on Friday, the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Mohammed Benhima, gave newsmen a report on what was already known about the attempted coup.
It emerged that the prime mover in the plot was the Defence Minister, General Mohammed Oufkir, who killed himself eight hours after fighter aircraft of the Moroccan Air Force had tried to shoot down the Royal Plane bringing the King home from a private visit to France. The palace was also bombarded.
Mr. Benhima said that one of the rebel officers who fled the country to seek asylum in Gibraltar had told British authorities the rebels were under orders from a general whose name began with the letter 'O'. News of General Oufkir's death at first caused conflicting speculation among political observers. Some thought he was implicated and others that he had killed himself in despair at having failed to carry out his job as guardian of the King's personal safety. But Mr. Benhima said the general's death was "a suicide of treachery, not a suicide of loyalty".