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German Red Cross says Morocco aid plan thwarted

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German Red Cross says Morocco aid plan thwarted
An employee of the German Red Cross (DRK) loads relief goods into a truck in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau

The German Red Cross (DRK) on Thursday said it had been forced to cancel a plan to deliver aid to earthquake-hit Morocco.

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"For reasons beyond our control... new rules and regulations announced at short notice have made it impossible for the plane to take off today," the DRK said, without giving further details.

"We deeply regret these developments because the people on the ground urgently need help," it said.

Morocco was struck by a powerful earthquake last week that has killed almost 3,000 people, most of them in remote villages of the High Atlas Mountains, and has left many homeless.

But the country has not taken up offers of aid from several countries, including France and Germany, allowing in only a select few rescue teams.

READ ALSO: Could an earthquake disaster happen in Germany?

The German flight to Morocco was scheduled to depart from Leipzig Airport on Thursday, the DRK said, adding that it was working "at full speed" to "address the delay".

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The Red Cross launched an appeal on Tuesday to raise $100 million to support the relief effort.

Morocco has allowed rescue teams to come to its aid from Spain, Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates but so far declined offers from several other nations, including the United States, France and some Middle Eastern countries.

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