Worshippers at a south London mosque today said they were living in fear after a brutal gang attack that left a pensioner fighting for life and two other men injured.
A 67-year-old Muslim, named locally as Ikram ul-Haq, is on life support in hospital after being attacked from behind as he stood with his five-year-old granddaughter outside the Idara-e-Jaaferiya Islamic centre in Tooting.
Today one of the other victims described how a gang of 20 teenagers in hoodies ambushed them outside the mosque, on Church Lane, as they emerged from a prayer session. Minicab driver Imdad Buhkari, 39, who was standing with another victim, who is in his 70s, said:
“They came down the road and about six of them broke off from the rest and surrounded the two of us. They asked me for the time. I said I don’t wear a watch and suddenly someone from behind punched me hard on the jaw. I was attacked from behind with no warning. Then they hit the old man, whose name is Atameer, and ran off.
“I went round the corner and I was shocked when I saw Ikram lying unconscious on the ground. He was bleeding from his mouth and ear. Now he is in a coma. The doctors want to turn off his life support machine but his family say no. It is terrible. Who would do such a thing?”
Update: See “Pensioner attacked in street dies”, BBC News, 7 September 2009