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Syrian refugee suspected of sister’s ‘honour killing’

Published on January 11, 2021

A Syrian refugee is suspected of murdering his sister in a possible “honour killing” after her bound body, with signs of strangulation and a gunshot to the head, was found in her Belgian home, officials said Monday.

“Tensions were very high (between the two) because he didn’t approve of the way she was living. We could be talking about an ‘honour killing’,” a spokeswoman for the prosecutors’ office in the city of Liege told AFP.

Police were searching for the Syrian man, born in 1984, who had been granted refugee status in Sweden but who had been in Belgium the past three months.

He was considered the “principal suspect,” prosecutors said.

The body of Ahlam Younan, 28, was discovered in her home in Liege on January 3.

She had been working as a waitress in a cafe in the city after being given refugee status in Belgium following her arrival seven years ago.

A source close to the investigation said she had been living a Western-style lifestyle.

Belgian media reported that her large Syrian family, Christians, was spread between Belgium, Sweden and their native, war-wracked country.

Her sister Fadia had found the body after not hearing from Ahlam for several days, and had told police that the brother had recently made threats to the victim, the newspaper L’Avenir reported.