Colchester murder: Saudi Arabian student stabbed 16 times

CCTV of Nahid Almanea Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Nahid Almanea had left her home in Woodrow Way, Colchester, and was attacked off Avon Way

A 31-year-old university student killed near an Essex nature reserve was stabbed 16 times, police say.

Saudi Arabian national Nahid Almanea, of Woodrow Way, Colchester, had been in the UK for less than a year and was studying at the University of Essex.

She was found dead on Tuesday morning on a footpath off Avon Way.

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Media captionDet Chief Supt Steve Worron appealed for members of the public with any suspicions about who could be involved to come forward

Essex Police said although there was no evidence of the killing being a hate crime, it was "one of the main lines" of inquiry being pursued.

A 52-year-old man arrested earlier in connection with the murder on Tuesday has been eliminated from police inquiries, a spokesman for Essex Police said.

Speaking at a press conference, Det Ch Supt Steve Worron said: "A post-mortem was carried out on Nahid's body yesterday afternoon.

Image caption Officers said Ms Almanea lived with her brother in the town

"We can now confirm that the cause of death was knife wounds.

"She suffered at least two knife wounds which would have proved fatal on their own, but in total she was stabbed 16 times to her body, neck, head and arms."

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Nahid Almanea was carrying this bag before she was attacked

Mr Worron said the force was also investigating threats of revenge attacks being posted on social media.

CCTV images of Ms Almanea's last movements have been issued in the hope of encouraging witnesses. A picture of the bag she was carrying and a map of the route she was likely to have walked have also been released.

The Saudi Arabian Embassy confirmed that Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, ambassador to the UK, had contacted the victim's family.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police have been searching the local area for evidence, including at Salary Brook Trail

Officers said Ms Almanea lived with her brother and would normally walk to university with him, but she was walking alone when she was attacked because she had earlier lectures.

The University of Essex said she was a "very hard-working and conscientious" student on the English Language Programme and was due to finish her studies in August.

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