Australia mourns ‘despicable’ killing of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe

An emergency service vehicle at the scene in Bundoora. Source AAPMore

Maasarwe, who was reportedly five months into a year-long exchange at Melbourne's LaTrobe University, was riding a tram home from a comedy club to the suburb of Bundoora before she was met by her attacker around midnight.

Victoria Police appealing to any passers-by who may have information about the murder of Aiia Maasarwe on Wednesday morning. She was on an exchange programme at La Trobe, he said.

Her death is being treated as suspicious. She left the tram at the Plenty Road stop near Main Drive, Bundoora about 12.10am.

"This was an horrendous, horrific attack inflicted on a completely innocent young woman who was a visitor to our city", Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper told reporters in Melbourne.

A campaign has been launched to raise funds to assist with bringing Aia home to Israel, the funeral costs and supporting the family during this tough time.

The man accused in connection with the fatal attack is a self-described aspiring songwriter and rapper who has multiple social media accounts featuring posts about drugs, Aboriginal people and depression.

Family members have arrived from Israel. "And I am heartbroken she wasn't", Mr Andrews, now on leave, tweeted on Friday.

It follows the murder of aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon, 22, last year and previously the deaths of Masa Vukotic, 17, and Jill Meagher, 29.

Victoria state health minister Jenny Mikakos said there would be an increased police presence in Bundoora, which is frequented by students, to reassure the community during the investigation.

Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, draws large numbers of foreign students to its many universities.

He added a "rest in peace" to Aiia and "love to her family" at the end of the tweet.

Police on Thursday said Maasarwe was killed in a late-night attack while she was speaking on the phone with her sister.

"She heard the cars passing by and she was helpless, she couldn't do anything", Kittani said of the sister, who sent messages, but there was no response.

Mr Maasarwe also attended another vigil at Melbourne's Parliament House on Friday where he sat among the hundreds gathered, wiping tears and holding a candle lit for his daughter. "She wasn't in a very risky country at all, and yet we are still receiving such a painful message", her father Abed Katane told the Haaretz newspaper.

"I don't want to go out alone anytime soon, you don't feel safe here anymore and it's just tragic", she said.

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