VIDEO: Belfast murder victim was foreign national

A man who was found stabbed to death on a popular shopping street near Belfast city centre was a foreign national.

The victim was discovered on Botanic Avenue around 5am, and police have launched a murder investigation.

The scene on Thursday

The scene on Thursday

Another man, also understood to be a foreign national, has been arrested in connection with the death.

Botanic Avenue sits between the university area and the city centre and has many coffee shops, eateries and bars.

But it was almost deserted after police sealed off the area to enable forensic investigators to examine the murder scene, which was at the corner of Cameron Street.

The usually busy Botanic rail station was closed, with trains not stopping to collect or drop off passengers.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “We are treating the death as a murder. One man has been arrested and is currently in custody assisting police with their inquiries.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of Botanic Avenue early this morning and witnessed the incident, or anyone with any information that could assist this investigation to contact detectives at Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101.”

South Belfast MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell described the murder as a “gruesome and horrifying crime”.

“This was a violent and vicious attack in an area that is home to families and students,” said the SDLP representative.

“It’s my understanding that the victim was subjected to a sustained attack early this morning and died as a result of severe stab wounds.”

Assembly member for the area Anna Lo expressed her sympathies to the family of the murdered man.

“I would condemn whoever is responsible for this man’s death in the strongest possible manner,” said the Alliance MLA.

“Local people are shocked at what has taken place. Botanic Avenue is a very popular area visited by many people who will be very saddened by this incident.”