The German government says a young Iraqi man suspected in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Jewish schoolgirl in western Germany has been arrested in his homeland.
The Interior Ministry said 20-year-old Ali Bashar was arrested by Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq early Friday at the request of German police.
The girl, identified as by police as Susanna Maria Feldman, was found Wednesday outside Wiesbaden, a city in western Germany. On Thursday, police said two male asylum seekers were detained in connection to her rape and murder. One was later released.
Police said on Thursday that Ali Bashar had left the country with his family under false names, fleeing to Iraq.
Bashar arrived in Germany in 2015, at the height of the influx of refugees and other migrants. He was appealing the rejection of his asylum application, and police said he was suspected in a string of previous offenses in the same area.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany confirmed that the girl was a member of the Jewish community of Mainz, a city near Wiesbaden.
“A young life has been put in a cruel way. Our deep compassion applies to relatives and friends,” the group said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“A young life has been cruelly cut short. Our deepest sympathy goes to her relatives and friends,” the group said in a press statement on Thursday. The Council added that “premature conclusions or speculation [about the case] are out of the question.”