Wide Angle

Authorities in Imlil impose new security measures on tourists wishing to climb Toubkal

Ten days after two Scandinavian tourists were brutally murdered near Imlil, authorities implemented new security measures. According to locals in the High Atlas town, tourists are now forced to hire guides to climb Mount Toubkal.

Imlil./Ph. Morocco Desert Tour
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New security measures have been set by the authorities in Imlil, following the terror attack that took the lives of two Scandinavian tourists. In the mountainous town, located in the High Atlas, tourists will be subjected to a series of instructions aimed at securing their safety.

The new plan has been confirmed by Samir Oumoussa, a local guide who operates in the region. Speaking to Yabiladi on Thursday, December the 27th, he informed that these security measures have «been imposed on both tourists and guides».

«One week after the tragedy, it became mandatory for foreigners wishing to climb Mount Toubkal to hand their passports to authorities in the region», stated Oumoussa, adding that «Moroccans will also have to abide to the same rules, presenting their IDs».

Four security posts around the Toubkal Mount

Giving more details about the new measure, Oumoussa stressed that tourists arriving to Imlil have to check in at four different posts created in four crucial areas in the region.

«The first security post was opened in Aroumd, located 40 minutes’ walk up the valley from Imlil, the second is in Chamharouch, the third is in Agdal and the fourth one is in the Toubkal shelter», he clarified.

Once in Imlil, tourists must inform the authorities and their guides about their journey in the region, referring to the length of their stay and the locations they intend to visit, said the Imlil guide.

Moreover, Samir Oumoussa stressed that, from now on, tourists must hire a guide or rely on experimented locals when hiking. «Only tourist agencies can erect tents now and to do that they will have to get the authorities’ permission», reported the man.

As for climbing Mount Toubkal, Oumoussa stated that no one is allowed to leave the peak or hike it after 4pm.

For the own good of tourists

Meanwhile in Imlil, Mohmad who owns a restaurant that welcomes tourists intending to climb Toubkal, told Yabiladi that the situation has changed in the High Atlas town after the tragedy. «Security measures were reinforced for the own good of tourists and visitors of course», he pointed out.

To Mohmad, authorities have launched a new plan that would allow them to know who is entering and who’s leaving the region. «Several check points have been set by the authorities in Tahannaout, a town near the foot of the Atlas Mountains, Asni and Imlil», he added.

«It is getting better now and despite what happened we believe that the area is safe and its people are good», Mohmad concluded.

For the record, the bodies of the two women were discovered with cuts to their necks on Monday, December the 18th, by two French mountaineers. The two girls arrived in Morocco on the 10th of same month for a month-long Christmas holiday.

18 people, allegedly involved in the Imlil murders were arrested, so far, by the Moroccan authorities. The first four suspects, pledged allegiance to ISIS one week before the occurrence of the tragic events.

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