A total of 19 people have now been arrested in connection with the brutal beheading of two Nordic tourists in Morocco, authorities have said.
A government spokesman confirmed that at least six people have been arrested in the last four days over their links with the alleged killers.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, a 24-year-old from Denmark, and 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway, were found dead on December 17 having been beheaded by suspected ISIS fighters.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, was found beheaded at a campsite in western Morocco last week. In total 19 people have now been arrested in connection with her murder
Maren Ueland, 28, was found dead alongside her. A video purporting to show the women being killed has been circulated by extremists online
The pair had set up camp at an isolated mountain site around two hours from the tourist village of Imlil when they were attacked.
Video purporting to show the attack has been circulated on ISIS forums, and shows one man brandishing a large knife saying in Arabic ‘it is Allah’s will’.
Ms Ueland and Ms Vesterager Jespersen, who were studying to be outdoor guides at a Norwegian university, were spotted with three men in Marrakesh before heading to the Atlas mountains to hike.
They had been travelling around the country as part of a month-long trekking holiday.
Sabik told national television 2M on Sunday that the suspects targeted the two girls randomly and that IS didn’t coordinate the killings.
Moroccan authorities believe the pair were killed by an ISIS cell operating within the country, and are now arresting anyone with links to the alleged murderers (file image)
Police have arrested six more people in the last four days of investigations, bringing the total number of suspects to 19
Last week hundreds of people from Malen’s hometown of Bryne turned out to hold a candlelit vigil, including her friends and family members.
It was emphasized that the event was not a memorial, but a way to show support and compassion to Malen’s loved ones.
‘It’s important to stand together and be important for people to show solidarity,’ Thor Inge Sveinsvoll, manager of the Rogaland county Red Cross, told Norway’s Aftenposten.
‘It’s important to stand together and show emotions, it’s shock and grief you cannot understand.’
‘We want to show that we care about each other, and that we are together for a kinder world,’ said Odd Ivar Nese, one of the organizers.