SRINAGAR, April 6: A young British woman holidaying in Indian-held Kashmir was found dead in a pool of blood on a houseboat on Saturday, police said after arresting a Dutch man on suspicion of her murder.

The 43-year-old Dutch national was taken into custody as he tried to flee the scenic Kashmir valley, police superintendent Tahir Sajjad said.

“We walked into a pool of blood in her room,” Sajjad said.

“We found a sharp-edged knife close to her body. The young lady had multiple stab wounds.”

The attacker broke the latch on the cabin door of the 24-year-old British tourist who had been staying in the houseboat on the picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar for two months, police said.

Police were investigating whether the victim had been assaulted in the incident, which comes after a string of attacks on tourists travelling in India.

They said her body had been sent for a post-mortem examination.

“We can confirm the Jammu and Kashmir police have the body of a British woman. We have contacted the next-of-kin and we are providing consular assistance to the family,” a British

High Commission (embassy) spokeswoman said in New Delhi.

“At this moment, we cannot reveal the identity of the woman,” she added. In a statement, the police said that the victim was from Manchester.

Suspect detained Police said they had arrested the suspect in a taxi near Qazigund, 75 kilometres  south of Srinagar on the highway leading out of the Kashmir valley, and they identified him as 43-year-old Richard De-Wit.

“The suspect has been taken into custody on suspicion of murder and we are questioning him,” Sajjad said.

De-Wit had been staying in the same houseboat, named “New Beauty”, as the victim and he had arrived on Thursday, police said.

He had allegedly fled in a small boat which capsized as he was trying to reach the shore, forcing him to swim. The suspect was carrying only his passport when he was arrested, police said.—AFP

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