Somali boy stabbed to death near school

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A Somali boyaged 15 was stabbed to death a few yards from his London school.

The teenager, who has not been named, was found at 12.30pm near Little Ilford school at Manor Park, east London, police said. He was lying outside the Little Ilford Lane Youth Centre, which is part of the school grounds.

The boy was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was placed under police guard in hospital.

Police said last night that they were keeping an "open mind" about the motive. Scotland Yard would not deny that the attack might have been racially motivated.

Detective Chief Inspector Hugh Jenkins, who was leading the investigation, said that he could not, at this stage, confirm the reasons for the death, but that a full inquiry was under way. "We are appealing for help from the public so that we can establish what happened before he was killed," he said.

A youth aged 14 and a woman have been arrested in connection with the incident. Mr Jenkins said only the boy was helping police with their inquiries. Searches in the area had uncovered two knives but he could not yet say whether one was the murder weapon.

A local resident, a woman in her early twenties with two small children, said the school had a good reputation. "It's horrific," she said. "I've been left terrified by this. This kind of thing does not happen around here."