The homicide unit is investigating the death of a 34-year-old woman in downtown Winnipeg.

Officers were called about an assault in the 300 block of Assiniboine Avenue shortly after 10 p.m. on Monday.

Paramedics rushed a woman to hospital in critical condition, but she died from injuries.

Officers said the the victim died from upper body injuries.

The woman's death marks Winnipeg's first homicide of 2012.

She had arrived five months ago from the country of Eritrea in Africa.

Officers are releasing few details about what may have led to the woman's death.

Community members from Eritrea now living in Manitoba said the victim and male assailant knew each other, and the man may have been suffering from a mental illness.

"Many refugees are coming in traumatized or with severe post-traumatic stress disorder," said Dorota Blumcynska, executive director of IRCOM Inc., an organization that provides support to newcomers to Canada.

Local immigrant and refugee groups said that while mental illness is not specific to new Canadians, some refugees may be more prone to the stress of adapting to a new life.

"Our system is not prepared for it – there (aren't) enough services for newcomers to help them with the culturalization process, to help them with the culture shock," said Blumcynska.

The Assiniboine Avenue homicide is the latest tragedy to hit the small, tight-knit Eritrean community of about 3,000 people in Winnipeg.

Last March, a 22-year-old man was stabbed to death near a downtown bus stop. He was Eritrean.

Selam Asghedom said she's hopeful the community will help individuals cope.

"The community is very loving and caring and (a) strong community. Hopefully they will deal with it as God's grace allows us to deal with this," she said.

The woman killed on Monday also had a brother living in Winnipeg.

Community members said relatives of the woman did not want to conduct an interview Tuesday.

The woman was living with a partner in Winnipeg. 

Police said they're still interviewing a number of people. No arrests have been announced.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call investigators at 986-6508, or Crime Stoppers at 786-8477.

- with a report from CTV's Karen Rocznik