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Terrorism suspected in Morocco murder of Scandinavian hikers

Fadel Senna, AFP | The bodies of the two Scandinavian women were found in an isolated area in the High Atlas mountains in Morocco on December 17, 2018

Moroccan prosecutors investigating the murder of two female Scandinavian hikers on Wednesday said that the killings were suspected of being an act of Islamist terrorism.

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The Rabat public prosecutor's office said in a statement that the one suspect that has been arrested so far has affiliations to a terrorist group, but did not name which one.

The women’s bodies were found on Monday in an isolated area near Imlil, on the way to Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination.

Three other suspects have also been identified, but are still on the run.

"Radical Islam is not ruled out due to the profile of the suspect arrested and of the three men wanted," the AFP also reported, citing an unnamed police source.

The source said that one of the women -- identified as 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen from Denmark and 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway -- had been beheaded.

The prosecutor’s office said that police is currently working on authenticating a video tape shared on social media claiming to show the killing of one of the tourists.

The killings have shocked Morocco, a popular tourist destination where such attacks on foreigners are extremely rare.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP, REUTERS)

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