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Tributes paid to man found dead in country lane on Christmas Day

Mohammed Aftab had suffered stab wounds and multiple head injuries, police said.

The family of a 21-year-old man found dead on a country lane on Christmas Day have described him as “vibrant” and “bubbly”.

Mohammed Aftab was discovered with stab wounds to the neck and multiple head injuries in Dyehouse Lane in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, at about 8.15am on Monday.

A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of his murder.

In a statement released by police, his father Altaf Hussain said: “There are no words to describe what has happened, what we have lost and what we could now never gain.

“You only ever ask that your children look after you, but this has now been taken away from me as a parent.

“As a young child Aftab was very active, he used to visit the mosque and go to karate. Aftab loved football, he was an avid Arsenal supporter.

“Aftab would regularly go to prayers and he also went to an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca with his mother.

“We ask as a family why someone so vibrant and full of life has now been taken from us?”

Mr Hussain said his son had been “idolised” by his sisters and brother.

He said: “This has been a devastating loss to all the family.

“Aftab had respect and love for people from all walks of life. You see these things happen to other people but can never comprehend it when it happens to you.

“We all loved him from the bottom of our hearts and will miss him.

“Aftab was a bubbly person; he was loving towards all his family, exactly what you can expect from a son.

“Nobody had a bad word to say about Aftab, this has left all his friends and family heartbroken.

“In the last few days we have had unimaginable support from people including those we have not known. We are thankful for everyone’s love and support they have shown especially those from the Rochdale community.”

Detective Inspector Dave Meeney, of Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team, said: “Since Mohammed Aftab’s body was found we have been carrying out extensive enquiries to establish the exact circumstances surrounding his death.

“We have now made an arrest and we currently have a 26-year-old man in custody on suspicion of murder. He will be questioned later today.

“However our investigation continues and I would continue to ask that anybody with information comes forward and contacts police.”

Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 9908 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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