Man held after boy stabbed in the neck out­side mosque

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Ni­cola Har­ley

A BOY of 14 is fight­ing for his life in hos­pi­tal after be­ing stabbed out­side a mosque in a sus­pected racial at­tack after his fa­ther had dropped him off to at­tend a youth event.

Po­lice have ar­rested a 29-year-old man on sus­pi­cion of at­tempted mur­der out­side the Idara Maarif-e-Is­lam Hus­sainia Mosque in Small Heath, Birm­ing­ham, at around 1am yes­ter­day.

The vic­tim had been at­tend­ing a cel­e­bra­tion at the mosque for around 200 chil­dren at the time.

Wit­nesses say the school­boy was re­peat­edly stabbed in the neck and head in front of his brother.

Mosque lead­ers be­lieve the at­tack was “racially mo­ti­vated”.

Ad­nan Khan, in­for­ma­tion sec­re­tary for the mosque, said: “This is the big- gest event in the Shia cal­en­dar. We be­lieve this was a racist at­tack and the young lad was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“We had been ad­vised about se­cu­rity and now have knife scan­ners at the en­trance, but ob­vi­ously nothing in the street. We be­lieve they were ly­ing in wait for some­one to at­tack.”

Det Insp Jim Col­clough said: “We do not be­lieve (the in­ci­dent) to be ter­ror­re­lated. The mo­ti­va­tion for the at­tack is not yet known – we are keeping an open mind as to whether it could be racially or re­li­giously mo­ti­vated. It is tragic event.”

Has­san Shah, of the mosque’s youth team, said: “His brother saw it all and was scream­ing to his dad to come and help.” An­other wit­ness, who did not want to be named, added: “It was pan­de­mo­nium, ev­ery­one was scream­ing.”

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