RABAT – The case of the assassination of two Scandinavian tourists in southern Morocco continues to arouse, Thursday , concern and international consternation, while the Moroccan authorities announced to have arrested four suspects linked to this crime, described as "bestial".
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, a 24-year-old Danish student and one of her friends, Maren Ueland, a 28-year-old Norwegian woman, went on holiday together for a month in Morocco.
Their bodies were discovered Monday on a site where they had pitched the tent for the night, two hours walk from the village of Imlil, on the way to Mount Toubkal. One of them was "beheaded," Moroccan media reported, citing a source close to the case. Their bodies bore "traces of stabbing violence on their necks," the same sources added, citing a statement from the Moroccan authorities.
Danish Prime Minister Lars L kke Rasmussen has denounced a "bestial crime" since Copenhagen, while Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg condemned a "brutal and senseless attack on innocent people". The double assassination has shaken Moroccan populations, especially those in the village of Imlil, worried about a possible disaffection of foreign tourists for the region of the High Atlas.
This case has caused consternation in this locality and many other Moroccan regions, worrying about the resurgence of these assassination cases that will have a direct impact on the tourism sector, while the country is shaken by a serious economic crisis. Foreign tourists are also shocked by the announcement of the discovery of the bodies of young Scandinavians decapitated "savagely" in this mountainous region.
"It's really sad, especially since I know they're two women," said a 26-year-old New Zealand tourist who came to spend the holidays in Morocco, saying she does not feel "safe" and is considering to return rather than expected home. Moroccan police announced on Thursday that they had arrested three suspects "originating" from Marrakech, with "criminal records linked to terrorist acts".
A total of four men have been arrested in Marrakech since the discovery of the bodies of the two Norwegian and Danish tourists. The first suspect belonging to "an extremist group" was arrested on Monday, before the other three were apprehended Thursday morning after the broadcast of a search, police said.