Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A total of 13 people were arrested over the weekend in connection with the beheading of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco.
Four suspects aged between 25 and 33 years old were arrested on suspicion of killing 28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway and 24-year-old Louisa Jespersen of Denmark and nine others were arrested for their alleged connection to the four suspects, CNN reported.
Both the Moroccan government and Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said the killings appeared to be acts of terrorism.
The four suspects accused of being directly involved in the killings were seen in a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, which has a presence in Morocco. Authorities in Morocco said the video had been verified as authentic.
"The four top suspects made no contacts with other ISIS abroad, and none of them were in Iraq or Syria," Moroccan national security spokesman Boubker Sabik said. "On December 14, the suspects moved to that area to search for potential targets, claimed they were on a picnic, and filmed a 'pledge' tape inside a tent in that area, without any contact with (ISIS) outsiders."
Both women's bodies were found in their tent at the High Atlas mountain range on Monday.
A second video purporting to show the killings is being analyzed by the Danish Security and Intelligence, but hasn't been verified.
Prior to their deaths they had been seen with three men in their hotel at Marrakesh before departing to the Atlas mountains to hike.
They had arrived for a month-long trip in Morocco on Dec. 9, traveling the foothills of Mount Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak.
Ueland's mother said they both took full precautions before embarking on the trip,
Hundreds of Moroccans attended a vigil for the two women in the capital city Rabat of Rabat on Saturday.
Danish and Norwegian diplomats also attended the vigil during which the victims were honored with a moment of silence and attendees held signs reading "sorry" and otherwise offering condolences.