12:06 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Moroccan women carry photos of 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland and 24-year-old Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, during a candlelight vigil outside the Danish embassy in Rabat for the two Scandinavian university students who were killed in a terrorist attack in a remote area of the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018

    Morocco Seeks Death Penalty for Three Suspects Accused of Beheading Scandinavian Hikers

    © AP Photo / Mosa'ab Elshamy
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    Two Scandinavian hikers, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found beheaded in December in Morocco's High Atlas mountains. Dozens of people were detained and are facing trial, while three of them are directly accused of killing the women.

    Morocco prosecutors are looking to condemn three men accused of murdering two Scandinavian hikers in December to capital punishment. The prosecutors sought a maximum sentence for 25-year-old suspected ringleader Abdessamad Ejjoud and the two radicalised Moroccans.

    The three primary suspects, Rachid Afatti, Younes Ouaziyad, and Abdessamad Ejjoud, previously confessed to the murders during a hearing in May, saying they were carried out in the name of Daesh*.

    24-year-old Danish woman Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her 28-year-old Norwegian friend Maren Ueland were found dead on 17 December in a mountainous area about an hour's drive from the city of Marrakesh. They were brutally murdered during a Christmas trip to Morocco, where they wanted to see Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak.

    Fifteen Moroccan nationals were apprehended following the gruesome incident that was classified as a terrorist attack.

    While the suspects pledged their allegiance to Daesh, the nation's intelligence services believe that the gang was not in contact with IS militants.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.


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