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Funeral held for Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, slain in Morocco



Hundreds of mourners, including the Danish prime minister, filled a small Danish church on Saturday (local time) for the funeral of a woman hiker killed in the Atlas mountains in Morocco in December.

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, was killed together with 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway, while the two camped out on an isolated holiday south of Marrakesh on vacation.

Their bodies were found the following day.

The 45-minute Saturday service for Jespersen was held at the Fonnesbaek church in Ikast, Denmark's central Jutland region.

According to the BT tabloid, more than 400 people attended the service in the small modern church.

Speaking just before the Jespersen coffin was taken out of the church, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen swore that his life would not be forgotten.

"Although the pain is unbearable, we must not succumb. We must remember who we are, what we are and what we stand for," he said

The Moroccan authorities said they were beheaded and called the crime an act " terrorist ".

They arrested a total of 22 people in connection with the murders.

Include four main suspects and a Swiss-Swiss man who had ties to some of the suspects and who had signed up for "extremist ideology", say Moroccan officials.

The main suspects belonged to a cell inspired by the ideology of the Islamic State group, but none of the four had contacts with IS members in Syria or Iraq, the head of the counter-terrorism of Morocco Abdelhak Khiam said to the AFP .

Jespersen and Ueland had studied open-air activities and tourism at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

The two decide to go to Morocco for Christmas and arrive for a one-month holiday on December 9th.

They had traveled to the foot of Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, not far from the tourist village of Imlil

Friends described the two young women as "adventurers" and "sociable".

"The girls took all the necessary precautions before leaving for the trip," Maren Irene's mother told the Norwegian NRK television in December.

The funeral of Ueland will be held in Norway on January 21

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