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Execution-Style Murder Of Young Tourists Filmed By Terrorists

Four suspects in the murder of two Scandinavian tourists in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains had pledged allegiance to Islamic State before the killings, authorities say.

Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, were found dead in an isolated area near Imlil, on the way to Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak and a popular hiking destination.

Police arrested a suspect on Tuesday in the tourist hub of Marrakech who they said belonged to a militant group.

Images: Facebook

Three more were picked up later in the city, the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations said.

A video showing the murder of one of the women has been recognised as genuine, Danish intelligence service said on Friday.

The footage, which has circulated online, shows a woman screaming while a man cuts her neck with what appears to be a kitchen knife.

A screengrab from footage of the four men pledging allegiance to ISIS. Image: provided

Separate footage has also emerged of the four men pledging allegiance to Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Morocco's general prosecutor on Thursday confirmed the authenticity of the video.

In the video, which was posted on social media, the suspects threatened to carry out attacks, the general prosecutor said in a statement.

Police officers next to a tent at the scene where thebodies were located. Image: Getty

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"This is a brutal and meaningless attack on innocent people, which we react to with disgust and condemnation," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.

Ueland's mother, Irene Ueland, said her daughter's "first priority was security". "Both young women had taken all the precautions they could, before heading off," she told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

The University of South-Eastern Norway said the two students were on a month-long private trip to Morocco. They flew to Morocco at the weekend.

A helicopter at the scene where the bodies of the two women were found in an isolated mountainous area in the High Atlas Range. Image: Getty

The killing has shocked Morocco, a popular tourist destination where such attacks on foreigners are extremely rare.

Broadcaster 2M released photos and videos on Wednesday of forensic investigators and others working around the women's brightly coloured tent on a rocky hillside.

The broadcaster said the tent held food and belongings for three people, including an ID card.

With Associated Press, Reuters