Qatari boy, 16, victim of racist murder

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The Independent Online

A sixteen-year-old boy from Qatar has died after being attacked by a white gang outside a takeaway restaurant in East Sussex in what police are treating as a racist murder.

The boy, named last night as Mohammed al-Majid, lived in Hastings and had spent just five weeks in Britain, where he was studying English. His death was one of four fatal incidents over the Bank Holiday weekend involving teenagers and young men, prompting police calls for calm among warring gangs.

A Sussex Police spokes-woman said up to 50,000 foreign students visit Hastings in the summer to study English at language schools. "The problems and issues they are involved in are very few in comparison to these large numbers," she added.

Three men, aged 17, 18 and 20, have been arrested and questioned over the attack. They have all been bailed. Yesterday, police in Birmingham appealed for calm between gangs after a24-year-old man was shot dead over the weekend.

The victim, Dimitri Foskin, was shot in the chest in a driveway outside a house in the Newtown area on Saturday night, and later died in hospital. His was the third fatal shooting to take place in that area of the city in less than a year. Chief Superintendent Mick Treble said: "I would like to appeal for calm and if there is tension within the community people need to talk to the police. We are aware of gang rivalries."

Officers asked 26 nightclubs in Birmingham to close earlier in an effort to deal with gun crime.

The weekend was also marred by a series of violent incidents. Shortly after Mr Foskin was pronounced dead, a teenager was knifed to death in London. Charles Junior Hendricks, 18, was found bleeding to death from a stab wound near a bus garage in Walthamstow, east London. Police said yesterday that the victim may well have known his attackers.

At about the same time, another 18-year-old man was left in a critical condition after suffering a severe head injury in an attack in the town of Walton, Essex. Yesterday it was announced that he too had died. Early yesterday morning, a 22-year-old man was taken to hospital in a serious condition after being repeatedly stabbed in the stomach in Rugby, Warwickshire.

*An adviser to the Home Office on gun crime sparked fury by claiming politicians were "leaving black youths to die" by cutting funding to community groups. Derrick Campbell, who is chairman of the National Independent Advisory Group on Criminal Use of Firearms, was accused of "insulting" community organisations with his remarks.