Man suspected of setting OAP on fire arrested for second incident in London

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    The man detained for allegedly setting a pensioner on fire in Birmingham has now also been arrested over a second attack in London last month.

    On Monday (March 20) Mohammed Rayaz was set alight near his home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, after leaving a mosque.

    The 70-year-old suffered severe burns to both his face and his arms and has undergone a skin graft in hospital, his family said.

    On February 27 an 82-year-old man was also set ablaze outside of a mosque in Ealing, West London

    The pensioner in the Ealing attack, identified as Mr Hussain, is receiving treatment for severe burns.

    Detectives, supported by counter-terror police, are questioning the suspect on suspicion of attempted murder.

    The Metropolitan Police issued a statement that confirmed they are treating both attacks as connected incidents.

    Detectives from the MET and West Midlands Police are working closely together to investigate both incidents.

    Police said that, while counter-terror officers are involved in the investigation, they are keeping an open mind to motive.

    West Midlands Police said: "At this stage, we cannot speculate around the motive for the attacks, this is a live investigation and our main aim is to make sure communities are safe and that we bring justice for the victims".

    They also said the suspect engaged the man in conversation as they both left the mosque before dowsing the victim in what is believed to be petrol and then setting him on fire.

    In a statement today (Wednesday, March 22), members of the mosque described the incidents as "abhorrent and malicious attacks on two elders within our community", and thanked police for their efforts.

    "As we commence the blessed month of Ramadan, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," the statement added.

    Regarding the Ealing attack, Ch Supt Sean Wilson, of the Met's West Area Command, said: "We completely understand the shock that resonated throughout the community following this incident.

    "Despite a man having been arrested, we continue to be vigilant and urge local people to do the same.

    "Highly visible patrols around Singapore Road will continue in the coming days to provide reassurance to local people and I urge anyone who is concerned to approach officers."

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    • London
    • Crime
    • Terror
    • Fire

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