Victim of 'racist' murder is named

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The Independent Online

Murder detectives yesterday named an Asian man murdered in a "racist" attack.

Asaf Mahmood Ahmed, 28, suffered serious head injuries after being assaulted and found at the back of a Labour Club in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Friday night.

Mr Ahmed had left his house in Broomfield Road, Bolton, and was on his way to shops before being attacked.

His body was found behind the back of the Derby Ward Labour Club on Deane Road in Deane, Bolton, around 9.50pm on Friday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two teenagers, aged 18 and 15, are under arrest for questioning.

Police said, "comments" heard during and after the assault led them to believe the victim died in a racist attack.

Superintendent Andy Durkin, of Greater Manchester Police, said a post mortem examination to establish cause of death had been inconclusive.

He said: "The cause of death has not been conclusively established and further tests are being carried out. However, what is known is that the head injuries that he suffered significantly contributed to his death and therefore this remains a murder inquiry.

"We are treating this a racist incident because of language and comments that were overheard by witnesses at and immediately after the incident which led them to believe this was a racist incident.

"I would like to stress that the motive for the attack remains unknown at this stage and is a significant line of inquiry.

"This is not connected with any other incidents in Bolton and all evidence points to the fact that these are individuals acting alone and against the good natured spirit in that community.."

He said he was "heartened that community tensions do not appear to be significantly raised as a result of this" and that the community remained supportive of the police.

Mr Durkin added: "We have increased patrols in the area and I would urge everyone to continue in this positive approach at these difficult times, supporting the victim's family.

"The family have asked me not to disclose any of their personal details and I am respecting their wishes. If at a later date they choose to release a statement, I will share that with you with their consent. For now I must honour their wishes and not breach their confidence.."

He said Mr Ahmed had left the family home intending to go and purchase a few items from a local shop.

"He had passed a shop that was open en route to the place to where he sustained his injuries and I would appeal for anyone who can explain why, or indeed has witnessed anything prior to this incident or during it that may assist in the investigation, to contact police.

"Warrants for further detention have been granted at Bolton Magistrates' Court this morning to allow us to continue questioning a 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man, who are arrested on suspicion of murder, for an extra 36 hours.."

Deane is the centre of a large Asian area in Bolton.

There was no response today at the family home of Mr Ahmed or at the local Labour Club.