Murdered man buried back in Afghanistan after stabbing

South Yorkshire Police handout pic of Zabihullah Rafiq who was stabbed outside Bankwood flats in Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley, Sheffield on Sunday May 29, 2011. ''send in
South Yorkshire Police handout pic of Zabihullah Rafiq who was stabbed outside Bankwood flats in Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley, Sheffield on Sunday May 29, 2011. ''send in
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A MURDERED man who had moved to Sheffield for a safer life has been flown back home to Afghanistan after he was stabbed to death a few yards from his front door.

Zabihullah Rafiq, aged 30, was killed outside the entrance to the Bankwood tower block on Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley, in what police believed was a botched robbery.

The married father-of-one, who moved to Sheffield 10 years ago, was flown back to Kabul over the weekend to be buried in his homeland where his frail, elderly mother still lives.

His heartbroken wife Syrafete Rafiq, 23, who is now forced to bring up their 18-month-old daughter Maryam alone, flew back to Afghanistan with his body.

Mr Rafiq, known as Zabi, had left work at Pizza Pronto on Glossop Road just 12 minutes before he was stabbed to death.

A team of 40 detectives is still working round the clock to try to crack the case.

They are waiting for the results of forensics tests, in the hope the killer’s DNA was left behind, after a painstaking search of the murder scene was carried out in the immediate aftermath of the killing.

Detective Superintendent Andy Thompson, leading the murder hunt, said hundreds of local residents have been interviewed in the hope somebody may have seen something which could prove vital to the case.

“The community has been really helpful – there’s only about 30 residents in the six tower blocks in the area that we have not yet seen,” he added.

“It is a massive piece of work but it’s important because at 4 o’clock in the morning there are few people about and there is no CCTV so we still haven’t got an eyewitness.”

He said he was also looking into the life of the victim himself – how he lived, with whom he associated, and who his friends and family are – to look for any possible reason for his death.

“In a huge percentage of murders the victim knows the assailant,” he said.

But he said so far inquiries had failed to find any reason, other than robbery, why anybody would want to harm Zabi. Anyone with information about the murder just before 4am on Sunday, May 29, should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 2963014.