Two more teenagers die in epidemic of knife attacks

A 14-year-old boy died in hospital yesterday after being stabbed during a fight in east London the previous evening. He was the 25th teenager to be murdered in the capital this year, and the 20th victim of a knife attack.

The violence erupted in St Thomas' Place on the Frampton Park Estate in Hackney, where a group of youths had gathered. A teenage girl, aged about 16, was injured during fighting and was in hospital last night recovering from knife wounds. Scotland Yard launched a high-profile crackdown on teenage knife crime earlier this summer by extending stop-and-search powers. They have since carried out more than 32,000 searches and confiscated more than 700 knives.

An estate resident said that the scene of the murder had become a focal point for youths.

"It's a popular spot for the kids to hang out because it's a square at the end of an alleyway," he said. "There are always gangs there, milling about. They look about 15, mostly in sports wear. You have gangs of black kids or Turkish kids. Some of them are visibly smoking drugs.

This summer it has felt like there has been an escalation of gangs of kids around this area. The police have upped their vigilance, especially close around London Fields, where there's been a massive police presence every weekend."

The boy killed in Hackney was the second teenager to die from knife wounds over the weekend. In Liverpool, Luke Howard, 16, from Old Swan, was stabbed to death after an argument at a party early on Saturday. Police last night charged a 15-year-old boy with his murder.

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