Knife murder suspect 'harboured by associates'

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The Independent Online

A murder suspect on the run is being harboured by associates, police said today.

Naeem Majid Butt, 37, left east Lancashire for Edinburgh following the fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old man in an alleyway last month.

The body of Saheel Ahmed, of Blackburn, was discovered in the early hours of June 22 after he was chased by another man wielding a knife.

The married man suffered multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, off Warrington Street, Little Harwood, in what may have been a honour killing.

Detectives investigating his murder released CCTV stills today of Butt that were captured as he took a train from Manchester Piccadilly to Edinburgh Haymarket on the day of the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Gray, from Lancashire Constabulary's force major investigation team, said: "We believe that Naeem Butt is being harboured by associates within Edinburgh who are themselves committing a criminal offence and will be liable to arrest and prosecution.

"I am in Edinburgh today working with my colleagues from Lothian and Borders Police as this murder investigation continues. This was a brutal murder and I would urge Naeem Butt to surrender himself to the police and for anyone who knows of his whereabouts to come forward."

A number of addresses in Edinburgh were searched today in connection with the inquiry, he added.

Chief Inspector Tony Beveridge, from Lothian and Borders Police, said: "Officers from Lothian and Borders Police and Lancashire Constabulary have this morning been involved in raids on addresses in Edinburgh as part of the search for Naeem Butt.

"We have been working closely with our Lancashire colleagues in order to bring this search to a successful conclusion and we have significant resources in place as part of this effort.

"At this time there is nothing to indicate that Naeem Butt presents an immediate risk to the public. However, we would advise anyone who sees him not to approach him, but to contact police immediately.

"Similarly, anyone who has any information regarding his whereabouts is urged to get in touch as a matter of urgency."

Butt is described as 5ft 10in, of medium to slim build with dark hair and brown eyes. He has a piercing in both ears, as well as a number of distinctive tattoos, including a scorpion and peacock on his left arm and a cobra on his left hand.

Anyone with any information should contact Lancashire Constabulary on 01254 51212 or Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.