A man has been stabbed to death outside a London train station in the capital's sixth killing in just nine days.
Paramedics battled to save the 20-year-old victim in Ilford, where a witness said he had seen two men running through the railway station with knives.
Police were called shortly after 9pm on Tuesday and the victim was pronounced dead 20 minutes later. No arrests have been made.
“Urgent enquiries are underway to establish the circumstances,” a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said, as the main entrance to the station remained shut.
Zamirullah Stanikzai, 21, who works in a phone shop close to where the attack took place, said he saw two men brandishing knives.
“I saw people running up and down the station when I went out,” he added.
Ilford South MP Mike Gapes tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened” by the killing.
The victim is thought to have been the fifth person to be stabbed in London on Tuesday, following non-fatal attacks in Romford, Enfield and one that left a schoolboy injured in South Ruislip.
London has seen 17 homicides since the start of 2018 – and six in the past nine days.
On 18 February, 22-year-old Bright Akinleye, 22, died in the lobby of a luxury hotel in Camden after being stabbed at a nearby house party. A man has been charged with his murder.
The following day, a murder investigation was launched after 69-year-old Brian Wieland was found dead with head injuries at a house in Chingford. A woman was arrested on suspicion of murder.
On 21 February, Glendon Spence, 23, died after being stabbed outside a youth club in Brixton in what police said was a “premeditated, targeted attack”.
On 22 February, a 19-year-old was stabbed to death after being chased down by attackers on bicycles armed with knives and a gun. His 20-year-old friend was shot and stabbed but survived.
The 19-year-old was locally named as Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, a young father who was jailed in 2017 after being found with crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis resin and cash in Bognor Regis.
Police said he was part of a “county lines” gang preying on vulnerable local people to deal drugs.
On Monday, a man was stabbed to death following reports of a fight at a property in Tower Hamlets.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick has vowed to crack down on street violence following a year that saw killings at a 10-year high in London.
The 134 homicides recorded by police included 24 where the victims were aged 19 or under.
Last April, the capital’s murder rate briefly overtook that of New York, but the US city has already seen 48 killings since the start of 2019.
Fatal stabbings hit the highest number on record across England and Wales in the year to March 2018, when 285 people were knifed to death.
Police have called for increased funding to tackle rising violent crime, while critics have blamed government budget cuts to youth services and preventative work.
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