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Terror charges brought over deaths of tourists in Morocco

FILE PHOTO: A mountaineer looks for Toubkal valley at the Atlas region near Imlil October 30, 2009. Toubkal peak, the highest point in North Africa at 4,167m (13,671 feet), is visited by thousands of mountaineers throughout the year. Picture taken October 30, 2009. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

Moroccan prosecutors have filed preliminary terrorism charges against 15 people who are suspected of links to the killing of two Scandinavian women in the Atlas Mountains.

Morocco's public prosecutor said in a statement the charges include forming a gang to prepare and commit terrorist acts and premeditated murder.

Three of the suspects face additional charges for allegedly urging the others to commit acts of terrorism.

The women, one from Denmark and one from Norway, were found dead in a remote mountain region on December 17.

Authorities have described the slayings as an alleged attack by followers of the Islamic State group.

The 15 suspects were referred on Sunday to an investigating judge who handles terror-related cases.

More suspects are expected to be charged in the coming days.

MAIN PHOTO: REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo