King of Morocco visits earthquake patients at Marrakech, kissing one on head and donating blood

MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — Morocco’s king showed solidarity with his suffering nation Tuesday as it counts the dead from a powerful earthquake, visiting some of the injured at a hospital not far from the epicenter and rolling up a sleeve to donate his royal blood.

King Mohammed VI inspected the hospital bearing his name in the city of Marrakech, where he inquired about the recovery services and care being provided for those injured in the Friday night temblor and the conditions of survivors, the official MAP news agency said.

A video shows the king — whose public appearances are normally limited to special occasions — at the bedside of several patients, bending over a young boy to bestow a kiss on his head and at the side of an older man.

In a surprising gesture, the bespectacled monarch was seen seated in a chair, coat off, suspenders showing, and shirt-sleeve rolled up, with his arm at the ready to donate blood.

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