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A photo of Navid Niran, 24, who was fatally stabbed outside a ByWard Market nightclub. (Submitted by Ahmad Haidiri)

Ottawa police say they have identified a "person of interest" in the Sunday morning stabbing death of an Ottawa man outside a downtown nightclub.

Navid Niran, 24, was leaving Studio Nightclub on Dalhousie Street with a group of friends after the bar closed when he was stabbed in the stomach several times.

He died before paramedics could even load him onto the ambulance. It was Ottawa's first homicide of 2012.

Niran's family says he got into a shouting match with someone inside the bar a half hour before he was stabbed.

Surveillance video viewed

Police said they have interviewed dozens of witnesses and are looking at surveillance video from the nightclub and the street. Police said many prospective witnesses had been drinking at the time of the slaying and their recollections have been hazy.

Navid Niran is survived by his 9-month-old son, his parents, two brothers and a sister.

Ottawa Police briefed the family on their investigation Tuesday afternoon and Niran's father and brother also spoke to a victim's counsellor.

The family said they are hoping police will release Niran's body soon so they can bury him.