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African honeymoon killing leaves families distraught

A newlywed murdered by armed carjackers on her honeymoon in South Africa was last night described as an “incredibly popular” woman.

Anni Dewani had been married to husband Shrien for just two weeks when their people carrier was targeted in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town late on Saturday night.

The gunmen drove off with the couple inside the car and although Mr Dewani (31) was later released unharmed, the body of his Swedish wife (28) was found on Sunday.

The couple lived with family members in a large 1920s house in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, and a neighbour said last night that their relatives were “heartbroken”.

Suleman Ahmed said: “They were only married a couple of weeks ago. I met Shrien a couple of times and he was a lovely guy.

“I haven't met Anni, but I hear she was incredibly popular, they made a fantastic couple.”

A spokesman for the Dewani family said relatives were too upset to comment. Another neighbour said the couple owned care homes for the elderly.

Friends set up a Facebook tribute page called Memory of Anni Dewani, which reads: “You are always in our hearts. We will remember you forever.”

More than 1,200 people have joined the online group. One member, Rajen Shah, wrote: “Having been at your wedding, what has happened is unimaginable and still can't believe you are not present amongst us.”

Another friend, Shivani Pala, posted: “Dearest Anni. I had the privilege of putting a payal on your foot at one of your wedding functions. You looked beautiful and I remember the way u smiled at me and what you said!”

Police are still hunting the killers. A Western Cape Police spokesman said the couple's driver was forced out of the vehicle by two armed suspects who took off in the people carrier with the newlyweds still inside.

He said the husband was dropped off at midnight in the township of Khayelitsha.

When officers found the car nearby, the woman was already dead in the back seat.

Police have not yet commented on the cause of death.

A Foreign Office spokesman said last night: “We are aware of the situation and are providing consular assistance to a British national who is involved, and their family.”

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