Youths held over 'race' murder

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SCOTLAND YARD detectives were last night questioning three youths who were detained earlier in the day over the murder in south-east London of a black teenager, which was reported to have been racially motivated, writes Terry Kirby.

Two of the youths are aged 17 and the third is 16; all were arrested at their homes in south- east London. It is believed that two of the youths are brothers but Scotland Yard refused to give any further details.

Stephen Lawrence, 18, an A- level student, was attacked and stabbed by a gang of white youths while waiting for a bus in the Eltham area on 22 April. A friend with him escaped unharmed.

On Thursday, Mr Lawrence's family, who had earlier met Nelson Mandela, the President of the African National Congress, criticised the police for failing to make any arrests.

In the past two years, the area has seen two racially motivated murders of black teenagers and a number of other violent attacks on black and Asian people.