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A teenage Afghan refugee has been stabbed to death on a sports ground in southwest London in front of schoolchildren playing rugby.

The victim, named by the Evening Standard as Hazrat Wali, 18, was assaulted at around 4:45 p.m. on Craneford Way in Twickenham on Tuesday, a few yards from Richmond Upon Thames College, which he attended.

Despite the efforts of a teacher who performed CPR after his collapse, Wali was pronounced dead in hospital soon after.

A relative of Stanmore told the newspaper that Wali came to the UK on his own two years ago to pursue a better life, leaving his family in Afghanistan.

His friend Sahil Kochay said: “He was a very good person. Very caring and loved everyone. He had no hatred towards anyone. He defended everyone. I would like to know why someone would hurt him. He wasn’t the type of guy to fight.

Grade 8 students from nearby Richmond Upon Thames school, aged 12 and 13, who were playing rugby at the time, were said to have been in tears watching them.

Their teacher first tried to protect them from the incident, before trying to save the 18-year-old.

A witness told the Evening Standard: “There was a teacher in a rugby kit, he was trying to save the boy. He was doing CPR. There were two girls next to him, they were crying. He was a real hero, it was a terrible scene.

“Five minutes before the incident, a group of very noisy children walked towards the field. Next thing we knew, all hell is breaking loose.

The attack is said to have started on a catwalk, where the victim and the suspects were arguing.

A parent said a group of boys got “scared” after being approached by the teacher, before his 13-year-old son saw Wali collapse.

A crime scene is now in place, with two tents pitched on the ground. There were no arrests.

Dr Jason Jones, Principal of Richmond upon Thames College, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family and friends during this difficult time.

“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns and questions for our students, parents, staff and the local community.”

DCI Vicky Tunstall said the incident was “witnessed by a number of people, including groups who were playing football and coaching rugby at the time.”

She called on those who filmed the attack not to share images on social media.