RABAT, Morocco — Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has fired four government officials following alleged delays in development programs to benefit an impoverished northern region that has seen protests for the past year.

The royal palace said in a statement Tuesday that the ministers of education, health and housing, and a junior minister of professional training were ousted after the king received a report on the mountainous Rif region by the kingdom’s accounting office.

The auditors’ report found that “several sectors of government and public institutions” haven’t fulfilled their commitments in implementing development projects worth nearly $700 million.

The firings came days before the anniversary of the death of a local vendor who was crushed in a garbage truck while trying to retrieve fish seized by police. His death prompted a protest movement.

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