Nahid Almanea murder: Hundreds attend Saudi Arabian funeral of stabbed student

The University of Essex PhD student was stabbed 16 times on Tuesday, her body repatriated to Saudi Arabia on Saturday

Remarkable pictures from the Saudi Arabian funeral of a student murdered in the UK have emerged on social media, showing hundreds of grief-stricken mourners.

University of Essex PhD student, Nahid Almanea, 31, was stabbed 16 times on Tuesday as she walked to campus.

The Saudi Arabian national was found that morning on a footpath near a nature reserve, her body garbed in an abaya and hijab.

Essex Police confirmed to The Independent that Almanea’s body was repatriated, while the funeral appears to have to have taken place on Saturday.

Images circulated on Twitter and on local news sites show a substantial gathering mourning the loss of the English Language student, as well as a casket within a hearse.

Messages of support, written in Arabic and posted online read: “Goodbye... she was killed due to the hijab - and through purity she faced the sword of this reason - Goodbye... by God we are healed - and from our silence, without any shame.”

In another tweet, a picture of an elderly male has text edited over the top describing pain falling from the eye of her father and about the Lord’s duty breaking and binding his heart.

A photograph supposedly from a demonstration in the British capital has the following caption: “A protest occurred from the Muslim community - in London, on the death of the Saudi Arabian scholar Nahid” – however, the Met Police could not confirm this claim.

Arab News, a Saudi Arabian newspaper, said that Almanea’s body arrived at Al-Jouf airport to a "large crowd" before being moved to the Khadem Al Harmain Mosque for a prayer and then laid to rest at Al-Laquait cemetery.

Another tweet by a funeral attendee reads: “The airport is packed. [There is] sadness in this world, and happiness, and so my sister, God willing, to the afterlife.”

Officers from Essex, Suffolk, London and Kent are working alongside the National Crime Agency in the investigation into Almanea’s death.

Police said they are keeping an open mind about a motive but are also looking into the possibility that she was targeted due to her Muslim dress.

On Sunday, forensic teams drained a pond in search for a murder weapon, while two other fishing lakes are expected to be combed later this week.

Detectives are appealing for two men seen near the scene – one of whom was wearing a distinctive beige jacket and in his “late teens to 30, of average build, tanned and with thick, black hair.”

They are also appealing for a runner seen on Hewes Close at 10.56am, shortly after the student was believed to have been killed, as well as two cyclists - a man and a woman - seen riding on the Salary Brook Trail near to where Almanea was found.

Grainy CCTV footage of Nahid Almanea's last movements Grainy CCTV footage of Nahid Almanea's last movements

Police are also looking into the similarities between Almanea's murder with that of James Attfield who died in Colchester two months ago.

Attfield, 33, was stabbed 102 times across his whole body in what police said was a "senseless and frenzied" attack.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron said: "I would appeal for these witnesses to come forward and help us with the investigation into Nahid's murder.

"They may have seen Nahid before she was attacked and they may have even seen her killer.

"I would also urge anyone who may know who these people are to contact us and tell us who they are."

Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud has spoken with the family, the embassy confirmed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee