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Africa

Video of Scandinavian tourists’ killing ‘likely to be authentic’

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen wears a Bovec Sports Centre t-shirt in this undated photo obtained from social media

A video purportedly showing the killings of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco by suspected Islamist State militants is probably authentic, Norwegian police said on Friday.

The bodies of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found on Monday in the Atlas Mountains, on the way to Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination.

Moroccan authorities have said four suspects arrested over the murder had pledged allegiance to Islamic State in a video posted on social media before the killings. The women were found with knife wounds to the neck, Morocco said.

A separate video of the actual deaths, also on social media, was likely to be real, Norwegian police said.

“When it comes to the assessment of the video that purportedly shows the killings, there is still a certain amount of technical analysis and assessment to be done,” Norway’s National Crime Investigation Service said in a statement.

“We still believe, however, that we have grounds to say that so far, there is nothing concrete to show that this video is not real.”

Norwegian police were not immediately available for further comment, while their Danish counterparts said they were still analysing the video. Moroccan authorities said on Thursday they were still working on authenticating the video.

Compared to other countries in North Africa, Morocco has seen relatively few militant attacks. The last major one was in April 2011, when 17 people were killed in the bombing of a restaurant in Marrakech.

On Saturday, a gathering will be held outside the Norwegian embassy in the Moroccan capital Rabat to show solidarity with the families of the victims and condemn terrorism. Thousands of people have said on Facebook they will attend.

Later on Friday, people will march with torches through Bryne, the coastal Norwegian hometown of Maren Ueland, to show solidarity with her family.

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