A seventeen-year-old Muslim girl has been beaten to death in Virginia

The incident is being investigated as 'road rage'

muslim girl

The incident is being investigated as 'road rage'

US Police say that the killing of a Muslim girl near a mosque close to Washington DC is being treated as a road rage incident.

The 17-year-old girl identified as Nabra Hassanen, who was wearing a headscarf at the time of the attack, was kidnapped and beaten to death early Sunday morning in Sterling, Virginia. She was reported as missing at roughly 4 a.m. and police believe they have found her body in a pond.

Police have charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with her murder.

According to Buzzfeed, Nabra and her friends were coming back from eating during a break from Ramadan prayers, when a car pulled up and a man with a baseball bat jumped out and started swinging at the group. Nabra was separated from her friends during the attack. She died from blunt force trauma to the upper body.

Nabra's father told The Guardian that he believes his daughter was targeted because she was a Muslim. Julia Parker, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County police told reporters: 'There is nothing at this point to indicate that this tragic case was a hate crime. No evidence has been recovered that showed this was a hate crime. Nothing indicates it was motivated by race or religion.'

The attack comes as the number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the US jumped 57% in 2016 to 2,213, up from 1,409 in 2015, the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group said in a report last month.

Yesterday in the UK, a man drove a van into a group of worshippers just yards from the Finsbury Park Mosque. He was heard to shout 'I want to kill Muslims'. Police have arrested Darren Osbourne, 47, on suspicion of terror offences.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: 'This was quite clearly an attack on Muslims who looked like they were probably Muslims and they were coming from a prayer meeting. We treat this as a terrorist attack. Sadly we have suffered a number of attacks and very sad events over the last few weeks.'

Rosie Benson