Thousands flock to the funeral of Saudi student who was stabbed in the UK
Thousands turned up to mourn the death of Nahid Almanea. (AFP/File)
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The Saudi victim of a frenzied stabbing in Colchester has been laid to rest in a desert funeral attended by thousands of mourners.
Nahid Almanea, 31, was buried in her native Al Jouf, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday afternoon after her body was released by Essex police and flown back to the Middle East.
Pictures carried by local media showed crowds of sombre and distraught men present for Ms Almanea's tragic homecoming and her funeral beneath a blazing desert sun.
Police are still hunting the killer who last Tuesday morning stabbed her 16 times and left her to die as she walked home from university along a quiet footpath in a park in Colchester.
She had been taking an English language course at the University of Essex since January as part of her studies for a life sciences PhD.
A line of investigation is considering whether she may have been targeted because of her distinctive Muslim clothing, which included a full-length abaya robe and multi-coloured hijab headscarf.
Officers yesterday drained three fishing lakes in their continuing search for the murder weapon and announced they wanted to speak to a who was wearing a beige Italian-style designer jacket near the crime scene on Tuesday.
They released a photo of a similar jacket as officers led an 'intensive' fingertip search around three fishing lakes near the footpath where the student was killed.
Essex Police DCI Steve Worron said police, who are yet to find the murder weapon, are 'open-minded' about links between the student's death and that of James Attfield.
Mr Attfield, 33, was stabbed 102 times on his arms, hands, back, neck and head in what police described as a 'senseless and frenzied' attack in Colchester in March.
'Our advice to people is that we have now had two knife murders in Colchester in less than three months where the motive for the attacks remains unknown,' said DCI Worron.
'Against that background we would advise everyone in the town to remain vigilant.'
Police have arrested and questioned two people this week over the murder - a 52-year-old man followed by a 19-year-old man - but eliminated both from their enquiries.
Earlier this week police released the last known CCTV images of the victim, who was studying English language at Essex University.
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