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Authorities arrest key suspects in tourist murders

One key suspect in the murder of two Scandinavian hikers in Morocco was a plumber while another was a carpenter who enjoyed drinking alcohol before joining radical Islam, a statement reports friends and neighbours to have said.

Moroccan authorities first arrested the plumber, Abderrahim Khayali, in the western city of Marrakesh, hours after the bodies of two women were found in the High Atlas mountains.

The authorities later on Thursday arrested the carpenter, Younes Ouaziyad, as well as street vendors Rachid Afatti and Abdessamad Ejjoud – all suspects in a “terrorist act”.

The four men, aged between 25 and 33, appeared in a video pledging their allegiance to militant group Islamic State before the grisly murder.

On Friday, the Moroccan authorities said they had arrested nine more people over the killing of Danish student Louisa Veserager Jespersen, 24, and 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland.

One of them was reportedly beheaded.

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