Murder suspect's escape foiled

A teacher is arrested at Bahrain International Airport within an hour of his wife's body being found in Al Gharbia.

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ABU DHABI // A teacher was arrested at Bahrain International Airport within an hour of his wife's body being found in Al Gharbia, in what police hailed as a landmark manhunt. Police said the woman had been stabbed to death in Madinat Zayed. The alarm was raised by her brother, who lived at the same address, and within half an hour officers had established that her Sudanese husband, AMA, had caught a flight out of Abu Dhabi International Airport to Bahrain, where he was said to be scheduled to board another one to Sudan.

Upon landing in Bahrain he was arrested by officers from Interpol and charged with the murder. The crime happened late last month, but details of the case were released by the Ministry of Interior for the first time yesterday. Col Hamad bin Itris al Dhahiri, the head of the Western Region police directorate, said the crime had been well planned. "He locked the room after the crime, used her car and headed immediately to the airport, all to delay the discovery of the crime to have time to run away."

He applauded the "record time" taken to intercept the fugitive, citing "moving quickly, fast collecting of information and immediate co-ordination with different agencies". The victim was identified yesterday as AF, a 32-year-old Sudanese who was also a teacher. Police said the suspect, a physical education instructor, had admitted to stabbing her several times in the stomach and neck, and putting fingers in her mouth to muffle her cries to avoid waking her brother, who was asleep in the next room.

However, it was not long before the brother found his sister's body and realised her husband was missing. He told police that there had been "rows" between the couple. Police and other agencies then launched a search for the husband and quickly discovered that he was en route to Bahrain. "We managed to arrest him within an hour. If he travelled to Sudan then we would not have been able to arrest him," said Major Hamdan al Mansoori, director of the investigation affairs section in Al Gharbia.

Gen Muhammad al Manhali, the acting director of police operations in Al Gharbia, urged couples experiencing domestic problems to contact the Social Support Police, who had been set up to deal with community issues. "The public are urged to get to know the role and tasks of the Social Support Police. They are there to solve any issues, however complicated. "Resorting to violence will only cause a person to face tough consequences," he warned.

It is the latest example of co-operation between authorities in the UAE and Interpol in tracking down suspects. In April, at the request of Dubai Police, Interpol placed images of seven men wanted in connection with the murder of the former Chechen militia commander Sulim Yamadayev on its website.