Two backpackers killed in Morocco, suspect arrested | News | DW | 19.12.2018
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Two backpackers killed in Morocco, suspect arrested

The women were found with their heads removed near a popular hiking destination. The murders cast a dark shadow over Morocco's vital tourism industry.

A suspect has been arrested over the murder of two Scandinavian women in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco's Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

The man was arrested in Marrakech after the hikers were found a day earlier with their necks slashed near the tourist village of Imlil, the starting point for trekking and climbing Mount Toubkal.

Read more: Morocco: Teen rape survivor calls for 'justice to be done' 

Security increased around Imlil

Other suspects were still being sought over the murders of 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark and 28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway.

The young women were students at the University of South-Eastern Norway and had gone on a one-month trip to Morocco.

Security has reportedly been increased around Imlil and hiking suspended following the discovery of the bodies.

Tourism accounts for about 10 percent of the Moroccan economy and is the kingdom's second-largest employer, after agriculture. It's also the main source of foreign currency.

cw/aw (AFP, dpa)

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