Teenager's hand left 'hanging by a thread' following axe attack on London high street

Police are investigating links to a rise in postcode gang violence in Islington

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The Independent Online

A teenager was left with his hand “hanging by a thread” following a brutal axe attack on a busy London high street.

The 18-year-old, who was also armed with a machete, was attacked by another youth brandishing a hatchet in Upper Street, Islington, at 6pm on Thursday, the London Evening Standard reported.

Another teenager, also 18, suffered stab wounds in the attack, which took place in front of dozens of shoppers and diners.

Restaurant workers rushed to the first victim’s aid as he lay bleeding on the pavement just metres from where people were dining opposite Islington Town hall.

Detectives are investigating links to a rise in postcode gang violence in the borough.

Both teenagers were later arrested by police for grievous bodily harm.

A  workman who witnessed the incident told the Standard  the assailant had slashed the one victim’s arm and had left his hand “hanging by a thread.”

Councillor Paul Convery said the victim had suffered a serious wound in which one of his fingers had been half severed.

“This gang on gang attack took place in one of Islington’s most crowded streets at a time when dozens and dozens of people were returning from work and starting to socialise and that is very worrying.”

The victim collapsed in the doorway of Zaco off-licence and was treated on the street by paramedics before being taken to the Whittington Hospital in Highgate.

Detectives from the Met’s Trident Gangs unit are investigating the attack and appealed for witnesses to come forward today.

The attack, captured on CCTV by a local business owner, has raised fears of an escalation in a postcode war between gangs from rival housing estates.

A Met spokesman said: “Police were called at around 6pm to reports of one man attacking another with what was reported to be an axe or hatchet. Officers attended and found a male in his late teens suffering from an injury to his arm. Another teenager was also injured. Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening. Officers from Islington are investigating.”