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February 8, 2012

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Murder mystery 

Burton Mail - By Rob Smyth 

MURDER detectives have turned their investigation into the death of a 40-year-old man towards Burton after it was revealed the victim had ‘prominent links’ to the town. West Midlands Police officers are urging people to come forward with information after Bakhitar Ahmad Kheder Mirawdali was found dead at a hostel in Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, at around 3.35pm on Thursday. A murder probe was subsequently launched after tests showed he had died from a wound to his neck. As detectives started to piece together details surrounding the 40-year-old’s demise, links with Burton and its vast Kurdish community were uncovered. Burton is home to approximately 1,500 Kurdish people, most of whose families were originally refugees from Iraq. A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We would urge people in the town to look at Mr Mirawdali’s name and photo to see if it jogs any memories. “Early investigations have shown that he had prominent links across the country and especially in Burton with its vast Kurdish community. We are trying to piece together his final days and although he kept himself to himself, he could have spent them talking to people in the town or even been visiting.” Mohammad Ahmed, an Iraqi Kurdish refugee who lives in the town, spoke to the Mail after learning of Mr Mirawdali’s demise. He said: “It is very sad to have learned what has happened and my thoughts go out to his family. “It seems his death may have been related to a robbery but these are all the details that are known at the moment. “I do understand from people in Birmingham and the local community that he had links with Burton.” Detective Inspector Buck Rogers, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “We’re working hard to establish what happened in the hostel and to identify who killed Mr Mirawdali. “We are keen to speak with anyone who may have seen him in the days leading up to his death.” Originally from Iraq, Mr Mirawdali had been granted political asylum and had been living in the UK for a number of years. However, he was planning to return to his homeland in the coming weeks to marry his fiancee. Officers are working with the Iraqi embassy to notify Mr Mirawdali’s family and specialist family liaison officers are supporting his brother, who is currently living in the West Midlands. Anyone with information should call detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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