THREE more people have been arrested in the Aya Hachem murder investigation.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, two women, aged 19 and 26 from the Blackburn area, were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

A man, aged 28, from Blackburn, was arrested later at an address in the town on suspicion of murder.

They are all in custody.

The latest arrests bring the total number detained in connection with Aya’s death to nine.

Police have also been given more time to question the three men who were arrested on suspicion of her murder on Monday.

The men, aged 39, 33 and 36, from Blackburn, appeared before magistrates on Wednesday morning and officers were granted a warrant of further detention for 36 hours.

On Tuesday, two men aged 31 and 35, were arrested on suspicion of murder, and a man aged 29 was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

They were detained in Blackburn and all three remain in custody.

Police launched a major investigation after 19-year-old Aya was shot in broad daylight on Sunday as she was out shopping close to the Lidl supermarket on King Street in Blackburn.

She was taken to hospital but was sadly pronounced dead a short time later, with a post-mortem examination revealing she died as a result of a gunshot wound to her chest.

A spokesperson for the police said: "Before she was fatally shot, a light silver/ green Toyota Avensis drove past Aya.

"Shots were fired from the vehicle and tragically one of them struck and killed her.

"Officers do not believe she was the intended target of the attack."

The Avensis, registration number SV53 UBP, was recovered by police on Sunday on Wellington Road.

Senior Investigating Officer, Det Supt Andy Cribbin from Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT) said: “Our enquiries are very much on-going and we are working round the clock to find out who was responsible for Aya’s death.

"Our determination to get justice for her family remains undimmed and our thoughts are very much with Aya’s loved ones.

“I would like to thank those who have come forward to assist the investigation so far and I would continue to ask that anyone who has any information, however insignificant they may think it is, to get in touch.”

A police presence remains in the area around the shooting whilst enquiries continue.

The incident is not being treated as terrorism-related or a racially-motivated.

Any information or video footage can be sent in tvia the major incident portal at orlo.uk/br51S

Anybody with any other information is asked to get in touch on 101, quoting log number 0412 of May 18, or anonymously via independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at orlo.uk/uSJJP.