IS militants get death for Morocco tourists’ killing

A jihadist media outlet picture shows Islamic State (IS) militants parading in the northern rebel-held Syrian city of Raqa. (AFP pic)

RABAT: A Moroccan court on Thursday sentenced three Islamic State loyalists to death for the murder of two Scandinavian backpackers last year, an attack that rattled the kingdom largely spared the Islamist-fueled violence gripping other parts of North Africa.

Another defendant received a life sentence, while 20 others were sentenced to terms ranging from five to 30 years on charges of being accessories to the crime, abetting or propagating material that condoned the attack, the Medias24 news website reported.

The verdicts can be appealed.

The two women – one from Denmark and the other a Norwegian – were beheaded in the country’s Atlas mountains in December.

Morocco relies on tourism for jobs and foreign currency. Before the incident, the last terrorist attack was in 2011 when a militant detonated a homemade bomb that killed 17 at a busy cafe in the heart of Marrakesh, one of the country’s main destinations.

Security services have arrested dozens of purported militants since for allegedly plotting attacks.