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Watch: Refugee who fled from Taliban calls UK home

The former Afghan judge who had to escape her home when the Taliban came calling.

As a woman of power and influence, Marzia Babakahail, was the target of extremists.

And when they tried to kill her - she was forced to become a refugee, finally arriving in Oldham with nothing.

Now, Marzia has become a British Citizen and made the town her home.

She's be talking to our reporter, Matt O'Donoghue:

Funeral for Oldham cousins killed in alleged hit-and-run

Helina Kotlarova and cousin Zaneta Kvokova Credit: Manchester Evening News

The funeral of two cousins who died following an alleged hit and run crash in Oldham is due to take place.

12 year old Helina Kotlarova died at the scene on Ashton Road on New Year's Eve.

Zaneta Krokova, 11, died later in hospital.

A man has been charged with causing their deaths by dangerous driving.

Three other men are accused of perverting the course of justice.


Man in 90s attacked and burgled in Oldham

Police are hunting for a burglar after a man in his 90s was attacked in his own home in Oldham.

The man was was asleep in his lounge at his home on Rochdale Road in Shaw at around 4.20pm on Friday when he was awoken by noises.

He went into his bedroom, where he saw a man climbing through the window.

The man pushed the victim and he banged his head on the floor, before stepping over him and looking around the rest of the house. He returned a few minutes later, climbed back through the window, and fled.

The offender is described as white, in his twenties, about 5ft 8in tall, of slim build, with short/medium length black hair. He was dark clothing and a hooded top with the hood up and trainers. He spoke with a local accent.

Police have launched an investigation and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Constable Nichola Chapman of GMP’s Oldham Borough said: “This was a heartless attack on a vulnerable man who, fortunately wasn’t seriously injured, but he was understandably extremely distressed.

It is not clear if the offender stole anything, but this does not detract from the fact that an elderly man was targeted in his own home and I would urge you to come forward if you have any information.

If you saw a man matching that description in the area at the time please get in touch with police and tell us what you know.”


School releases heartfelt statement after death of 12-year-old Helena Kotralova

Credit: Collective Spirit School

The school that 12-year-old Helena Kotralova attended have released a statement reacting to news of her death.

The young girl was killed along with her 11-year-old cousin Zanetta Krokova when they were hit by a car on New Year's Eve in Oldham.

Four men, aged 59, 48, 38 and 18, were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. All four are still being questioned by police.

Helena's school, Collective Spirit, say they feel the loss of their pupil with 'immense sorrow'.

It was to our dismay when news started breaking on New Year’s Day that one of our children, Helena Kotralova, had been killed whilst crossing the road in a hit and run incident.

We are the smallest of schools and we feel Helena’s loss with immense sorrow. We offer our sincerest condolences to Helena’s friends and family in particular her parents who have lost their daughter.

For many of us, our last memory of Helena was of her at our Christmas Fair where her team won best stall whilst raising money for Save the Children. This is how we will remember this young lady.

The School will hold a special assembly when our pupils return from the Christmas holidays and counselling will be made available for both students and staff.

– Collective Spirit Free School, Oldham

Breaking: Second girl in Oldham hit-and-run has died

Credit: ITV

The second girl who was involved in the hit-and-run in Oldham has died.

One of the girls, 12-year-old Helena Kotlarova, sadly died at the scene.

A second girl, 11-year-old Zaneta Krokova, was taken to hospital where she sadly died this morning.

Officers were initially seeking information about a black VW Golf, however that car has since been traced and the driver spoken to.

Credit: GMP

Further enquiries have since established that a Peugeot 807 was involved in the initial collision with the girls and that car has been recovered abandoned on Honeywell Lane.

Four men aged 59, 48, 38 and 18 have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remain in custody for questioning. A fifth man, aged 23, initially arrested for the same offence, has been de-arrested and is assisting police with enquiries.

Officers have now released images of the car involved in the collision and that of a white Citroen Despatch which was in the area at the time. It is believed the driver could hold key information.

Sergeant Lee Westhead from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said:

This is a heart-breaking incident which has now taken the lives of two young girls and all of our thoughts remain with their families, who are understandably devastated.

We have made significant progress with our investigation since the collision happened and I would like to thank everyone who has contacted police with information so far.

The community are clearly as committed as we are to establishing exactly what happened to Helena and Zaneta and the support they have provided has been vital to the investigation.

As the investigation has progressed we have identified that the vehicle that struck the girls was a Blue Peugeot 807. We have recovered this vehicle abandoned on Honeywell Lane.

The Peugeot is very distinctive and I am releasing pictures of the vehicle in an attempt to establish its movements on the 31 December in the hours prior to the collision.

As you can see in the images, the vehicle is dark blue, people carrier shaped and is in poor physical condition and notably has pre-existing damage to its rear window.

Did you see this vehicle on Saturday 31 December in the hours before or after the collision?

Finally, I am also keen to speak to the occupants of a white Citroen Despatch van that I am also releasing an image of. This vehicle did not collide with anyone but was in the immediate vicinity of the collision and may have key information.

Again if you saw this vehicle or have any information about its occupants or why it was in the area at the time of the collision, please contact us.

– Sergeant Lee Westhead

Anyone with any information should call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741, quoting incident number 1691, of 31 December 2016.

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