More people detained after the murder of 19 year Aya Hachem
Six more people have been arrested in connection with the killing of a British teenager whose family arrived in England as refugees from Lebanon.
Aya Hachem, 19, a law student and charity worker, was shot in broad daylight by someone in a car on Sunday afternoon near a supermarket in Blackburn, in north-west England.
Police believe Mr Hachem, a student at Salford University in Greater Manchester, was not the intended target in the drive-by shooting.
She died from a single bullet wound but witnesses reported that several shots were fired.
Three men aged 28, 31 and 35 have been held on suspicion of murder, policer said on Wednesday.
They added that two women aged 19 and 26 and a 29-year-old man were detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.
On Monday, three men, aged 33, 36 and 39, all from Blackburn, were arrested on suspicion of murder and continue to be held after police were given extra time to question them.
This takes the total number of arrests in the case to nine.
She arrived in Britain as a child, the oldest daughter of refugees who fled war-torn Lebanon.
The teenager was also a trustee at The Children’s Society, a charity working with vulnerable youngsters.
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Her parents, Samar and Ismail, spoke of their devastation.
“Our beautiful 19-year-old daughter Aya has been taken from us in the most horrific circumstances,” they said.
“She was the most loyal, devoted daughter who enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her brothers and sister Ibraham, Assil and Amir.
“She excelled in her studies both at Blackburn Central High School and at Salford University, where she was in her second year and dreamed of becoming a solicitor.
“She had just completed her exams and was learning to drive.
“We, her parents, are absolutely devastated by her death and would like to take this opportunity to plead with any members of the public who may have any information, however small, that may bring those responsible to justice.