Police in the Australian city of Sydney are treating the death of a gay man in an apartment fire as “suspicious”.

Ahmed Ghoniem, 27, was found last weekend and died later in hospital.

According to the Herald Sun, police say the Egyptian-born man had suffered several serious injuries before the fire was lit.

Detective Inspector Angelo Memmolo said it was possible that Mr Ghoniem was the victim of a gay hate crime, although investigators are keeping an open mind about the motive.

“We’re certainly following those lines of inquiry, looking at his background and appealing for people who may know him to come forward,” Det Insp Memmolo told reporters.

He said Mr Ghoniem had strong links with Sydney’s LGBT community.

Police would not comment on details regarding the fire, including how or where in the apartment it was lit.

They also declined to detail the nature of the injuries suffered by Mr Ghoniem before the fire.

However, detectives said it was likely that Mr Ghoniem was dead before the blaze had started.

His family, who are still in Egypt, have been notified of his death.