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Belgian teen volunteers fly home from Morocco after beheading threat over 'short shorts' Open in fullscreen

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Belgian teen volunteers fly home from Morocco after beheading threat over 'short shorts'

Morocco regularly tops lists of tourism destinations that are dangerous for women travelling alone [Twitter]

Date of publication: 8 August, 2019

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The Belgian teenagers volunteered at a construction site in Morocco and have flown home after images of them working prompted a death threat and criticism from a politician.

A group Belgian teenagers who volunteered at a construction site in Morocco have flown home after images of them at work prompted a death threat and criticism from a politician.

Footage of the girls labouring under the hot sun while dressed in shorts in a village in the south of the country was published by local news website last week.

"People are very kind and very friendly, I love Morocco," one of the teenagers says in the video.

But the "skimpy" outfits angered one teacher so much he called for the volunteers to be beheaded, echoing the recent grisly murder of two Scandinavian hikers by extremists.

Police said on Tuesday that the 26-year-old teacher had been arrested on charges of "inciting terrorist acts" in a social media post.

A member of the Islamist Justice and Development Party criticised the women for their choice of clothing.

"Since when do Europeans work in swimming suits?" Ali El-Asri said in a Facebook post.

The Belgian organisation that sent the group said on Wednesday that three of the teenagers have returned early from the trip because of the controversy and that it will stop trips to Morocco.

"On the advice of foreign affairs, Bouworde has suspended all volunteer work in Morocco," a spokeswoman told Belgian media.

"Our young people, who were very well received in the village, knew nothing. But after the news spread online, we received phone calls from concerned parents.

"Three young people are now leaving home early. It is very unfortunate that the positivism of our young people is thwarted on Facebook by one man. Everyone is disappointed."

Morocco regularly features in lists of tourism destinations that are the most dangerous for women to travel alone.

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