THU 21 - 11 - 2019
Dec 21, 2018
The Daily Star
Morocco arrests more suspects in tourists’ killing
COPENHAGEN: Moroccan authorities have arrested three more suspects in the killings of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, as the Danish intelligence agency said it “may be related” to Daesh (ISIS). The three new suspects were arrested in Marrakech as they tried to flee in a bus, according to national security spokesman Boubker Sabik. He told the Associated Press that authorities are investigating whether the three have terrorist affiliations. He said no other suspects are being sought.
Another suspect was arrested Tuesday, and a Moroccan prosecutor said he had affiliations to an extremist group, without naming it.
The killing has shocked Morocco, a popular tourist destination where attacks on foreigners are extremely rare. The women’s bodies were found Monday in the Atlas Mountains, an area prized by hikers.
The killing can be considered “politically motivated and thus an act of terror,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said Thursday. He said “there are still dark forces that want to fight our values” and “we must not give in.”
“What should have been a holiday trip turned into a nightmare,” he added.
He confirmed the victims’ identities as Louisa Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark, and Maren Ueland from Norway.
In Norway, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said terrorism “is not the only lead that is being investigated in Morocco” but said the case still “emphasizes the importance of combating violent extremism.”
“We trust that Moroccan authorities are doing their utmost to arrest those responsible for the murders,” she told a news conference.
Moroccan media outlets reported that investigators have video surveillance footage showing three suspects putting up a tent near the victims’ tent and leaving the area after the slaying.
The website of state broadcaster 2M published photos Thursday that they said were of the three suspects taken on a bus.
Security officials could not immediately confirm to the AP the identities of those in the photos.
An anti-terrorism rally is planned for Morocco’s capital Saturday.
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