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Abd el-Krim

Abd el-Krim (c. 1882-1963) (full name: Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Karim Al-Khattabi) was the leader of the Rif (or Riffian), an Arab tribe of Morocco. He was known as the leader of a resistance movement against French and Spanish colonial rule in North Africa.

In 1921, el-Krim led the Rif against a Spanish military post in Er Rif, Morocco, capturing it and killing 16,000 soldiers. By 1924, the Spanish were forced to retreat to their holdings along the Moroccan coast. Meanwhile, France laid claim to territory in southern Er Rif. In 1925, a French force under Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain and a Spanish army began operations against the Rif tribe. Intense combat persisted for a year, but eventually the combined French and Spanish armies defeated the forces of Abd el-Krim. El-Krim was exiled to Réunion Island (a French territory) from 1926 to 1947, when he was allowed to live in the south of France.