US & Canada

San Diego murder victim Shaima Alawadi to return to Iraq

A photo reported to be of Shaima Alawadi
Image caption Shaima Alawadi was found beaten unconscious next to a note saying: "Go back to your country"

An Iraqi-American woman who was beaten to death at her home in San Diego is to be flown to Iraq for burial, a Muslim leader who knows the family has said.

Imam Husham al-Husainy told the Detroit Free-Press that the Iraqi government was paying to repatriate her.

Shaima Alawadi, 32, was found unconscious last Wednesday by her 17-year-old daughter on the floor of their dining room in El Cajon.

A note was left next to her saying: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."

Ms Alawadi, a mother of five who had lived in the US since the 1990s, was taken off a life-support system on Saturday.

Hate crime?

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the attack was racially motivated.

Ms Alawadi's daughter, Fatima al-Himidi, told US news network CNN that an earlier note had been left at the house saying: "This is our country, not yours, you terrorists."

Her mother apparently dismissed the note as a child's prank and did not report it to the authorities.

Ms Alawadi reportedly came from a Shia Muslim background and wore a headscarf.

The family had moved recently to El Cajon, near San Diego, from Michigan. The town has one of America's largest Iraqi communities.

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