Economy

Morocco murders: Three arrested over 'bestial' tourist killings

Morocco murders: Three arrested over 'bestial' tourist killings

A helicopter at the scene where the bodies of the two women were found in an isolated mountainous area in the High Atlas Range.

And authorities confirmed a video exists of the moment at least one of the women was killed that supports the theory the incident is terrorism-related.

Rachid Afatti (L), Ouziad Younes (C), and Ejjoud Abdessamad (R), the three suspects arrested on Thursday.

The Moroccan Bureau for Judicial Investigations said that the evidence so far indicated a terrorist motive.

Gruesome footage and hundreds of uncensored images of the two backpackers, Louisa Jespersen from Denmark and Maren Ueland from Norway, who were found dead in Morocco, have reportedly been sent to one of the victims' mothers.

Investigations are also going on to authenticate a video tape shared on social media claiming to show the killing of one of the tourists, the general prosecutor said in a statement.

A video appearing to show the murder of one of two tourists killed in Morocco is nearly certainly real, Norwegian police have concluded. One, brandishing a knife, declares the group's intention to carry out terrorist acts.

A suspect in the nearby city of Marrakesh was later arrested, with police confirming they are hunting other individuals also identified as suspects.

The killing can be considered "politically motivated and thus an act of terror", Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said Thursday.

More news: Carlos Beltran To Join Yankees Front Office

Ms Ueland's mother, Irene Ueland, told NRK her daughter had taken safety precautions before making the trip, while Ms Jespersen's mother Helle Jespersen added she had warned her daughter against undertaking the journey.

In one of the black and white photos circulated by the authorities, a suspect wears white robes and a white skullcap, and has a long beard. The women's bodies had been mutilated, and investigators say they were both sexually assaulted.

The University of Sørøst-Norge posted that two of their students had died in Morocco on Monday, though they did not name Jespersen or Ueland.

The authorities' investigation revealed four men suspected in the killings follow an extremist ideology and have ties to a terrorist group, a source told dpa.

Norwegian Foreign Minister press officer Ane Lunde said earlier this week: 'We are aware that a Norwegian citizen is reported dead in Morocco.

"It is an unacceptable act that does not fit with the values and traditions of Moroccan people nor the traditions of the area where the crime happened", Khalfi said Thursday.

Islamic extremism is a significant problem in Morocco, though the north African nation has largely been spared from the terrorism that has plagued other nations in the region, Reuters noted. However, more than 1,000 young Moroccans have joined militant groups in the Middle East.

Thousands of Moroccans are expected to pay tribute to the women on Saturday, in a vigil outside the Norwegian and Danish embassies in Rabat.


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