News World Student killed in 'horrendous attack' in Australia while on phone with sister

Student killed in ‘horrendous attack’ in Australia while on phone with sister

An Israeli woman who was killed in the Australian city of Melbourne had been on the telephone to her sister when she was followed from public transport and attacked close to the university where she was studying, police said on Thursday.

The body of Aiia Maasarwe, 21, was found by passers-by early on Wednesday near La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus in the northeast of Melbourne,Australia‘s second-largest city. Police described her as an Israeli national.

“This is an horrendous crime that has been inflicted on an innocent member of our community,” Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper told a news briefing on Thursday.

“Our presumption is that this was a random attack and opportunistic,” he said.

It was the second time in seven months that a young woman had been killed on her way home at night in Melbourne, which has an active night life and is popular with overseas university students.

Police said Maasarwe had taken a tram home after an evening out seeing a comedy show. She had been speaking with her sister on the phone at the time of the attack and her sister alerted authorities, Stamper said.

“She heard the sound of the fall, the phone falling to the ground and heard some voices and that was it,” he said.

Family members arrived from Israel on Thursday.

Maasarwe had been in Melbourne on a six-month study abroad programme as part of a degree at Shanghai University.

Police said forensic testing was being conducted on two pieces of clothing found nearby that they believe was likely to have been left by the person responsible for her death.

In June, 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was followed as she walked home from performing at a Melbourne comedy club before she was sexually assaulted and killed in a central park.

Dixon’s death provoked an outpouring of grief, with more than 5,000 people attending a vigil at the park, and a wider push by police to acknowledge that women should be free to come home alone late at night and be safe.

More broadly, Australia has been reviewing its policies around violence against women. Sixty-nine women died violently in Australia in 2018, up from 54 in 2017, according to community group Destroy the Joint.


Top Stories

Arson to very expensive car in Paralimni

Early this morning a fire broke out at a car which is worth approximately 40,000 euros According to the Police at around 01:30 a fire...

Tremendous increase of calls to helpline 1480

Helpline 1480 aims to ensure that all users receive expert advice and support in real time regarding issues about the use of digital technologies...

Government decision on Photovoltaics Park under microscope

The House Watchdog Committee will today investigate one of the biggest photovoltaic projects scheduled in Cyprus. During the meeting the special report of the...

Benches of Aglandjia Municipality vandalized

Unidentified persons vandalized the benches that the Aglandjia Municipality had recently put at the highest point of the region. Speaking with Aglandjia Mayor Andreas Konstantinou,...

EU demands AstraZeneca plan to break vaccine deadlock

The European Union failed to make a breakthrough in crisis talks with AstraZeneca on Wednesday and demanded the drugmaker spell out how it would...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...