Killing of Scandinavian tourists : Local guides give their version of the story

Saddened by the killing of the two Scandinavian tourists, local guides in Imlil disclosed their version of the story about the tragic events. To them, foreigners must rely on accredited guides when camping in isolated and deserted areas.

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Four days after two Scandinavian tourists were found dead near Imlil, local guides in the small village recalled the details that preceded the awful crime, while giving advice to foreigners wishing to climb Mount Toubkal.

Speaking to Yabiladi, Mohamed, a local guide operating in Imlil, recalled that Danish tourist Louisa Jespersen and her Norwegian friend Maren Ueland climbed «Mount Toubkal alone». According to him, the two women «spent two nights in a refuge located in the mount before deciding to return to Imlil».

Saddened by their death, Mohamed said that Louisa and Maren left the refuge at around 4 pm, which «was quite late». «It was already quite dark and they were forced to spend the night where they stopped», he reported.

Mohamed explained that the area where the two girls camped was isolated, stressing that it takes from 7 to 8 hours for mountaineers to return to the village.

Saddened by the tragic events

Remembering the tragic demise of the two Scandinavian tourists, Mohamed stated that the inhabitants of the village, especially those who work in the tourism sector, were shocked by what happened. «It is a barbaric act and we are all saddened and shocked by this crime», he said while drying his tears.

Abbellah Bencheouay, from the Provincial Association of tour guides in Marrakech, shared the same opinion with the local guide. «We have been shocked and saddened by this crime», he said, insisting that the region «is notorious for the generosity of its people».

According to him, «tourists can travel alone without being accompanied by a guide. Especially as locals are welcoming and ready to provide them with help».

«But as a guide I believe that all tourists must be accompanied by an accredited guide especially when it comes to mountainous and deserted regions because they can be experimented and familiar with the region».

Abdellah Bencheouay

«Some of them prefer to do it alone, to be adventurous, but we at least have to advise them», he insisted.

Meanwhile, Samir, who operates as a guide in Imlil, told Yabiladi on Thursday that «foreigners can easily climb Mount Toubkal as it is secured and peaceful». «It is hard to do it in one day but some mountaineers who are really experimented and athletic manage to do it».

«Between Imlil and Toubkal some tourists camp and spend the night in their tents», he explained, adding that with what happened «I advise tourists to camp next to locals and avoid spending the night in isolated areas».

For the record, the bodies of Maren and Louisa were found, Monday, 10 kilometers from the village of Imlil by French mountaineers. Since then, four suspects have been arrested by the authorities which indicated in a communiqué made public, Wednesday, that the murder might be terror-related.

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