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Swiss police arrest asylum seeker linked to murder of German refugee worker

The suspect had presented an identification document showing he was an asylum seeker, Swiss authorities said. The Nigerian is believed to be involved in the murder of a 22-year-old volunteer at a German refugee center.

Swiss police on Monday arrested a 27-year-old Nigerian in connection with the murder of a volunteer at the center run by Catholic relief charity Caritas.

According to Swiss authorities, the suspect presented an identification document showing he was an asylum seeker.

The Nigerian man is suspected of stabbing the 22-year-old woman on a street in the western town of Ahaus on Saturday morning.

She had been stabbed in her upper body and throat, and died in a hospital as a result of her wounds.

"Extensive investigations resulted in the suspicion of the asylum seeker from Nigeria," chief prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt told public broadcaster WDR. "Evidence so far suggests that the 27-year-old made several attempts to establish contact with the victim in recent weeks." 

German prosecutors said they will pursue an extradition request of the detainee after he was arrested on a European warrant.

"Naturally this is a major turning point for our work," said Hans-Peter Merzbach, who heads the Caritas mission in Ahaus.

Merzbach noted that the mission would be offering psychological counseling to the victim's colleagues due to the nature of the case.

"We must find out what kind of help the volunteers need," he added.

A memorial service for the young woman is scheduled for Friday at St. Mary's Ascension Church in Ahaus.

ls/rt (KNA, AFP)

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