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Man charged with attempted murder after men leaving UK mosques torched | UK News

A man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after two men were set on fire in Birmingham and London, West Midlands Police have said.

Mohammed Abbkr, 28, of Edgbaston in Birmingham, allegedly followed the two victims as they returned home from mosques, doused them with a substance and set them on fire in two separate incidents.

He appeared in Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning, where he was remanded in custody until the next hearing on April 20.

Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was set on fire as he returned home from Dudley Road Mosque in Birmingham at around 7pm on Monday. He remains in hospital with severe burns to his hands and face.

Abbkr was arrested near the mosque on Tuesday and later arrested on suspicion of committing the same offense relating to Hashi Odowa, 82, who suffered severe burns to his face and arms near an Islamic center in Ealing, in West London.

mohamed rayaz
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, is still hospitalized with severe burns to his hands and face. Photograph: family document / PA

Officers said they were continuing to appeal for CCTV, doorbell footage or other video that might help the investigation.

West Midlands Police confirmed counter-terrorism officers were involved in the investigation, but said they could not speculate on the motive for the attacks.

In a statement on Thursday morning, the force said: ‘This was a joint investigation between West Midlands Police, Counter Terrorism Police and Metropolitan Police.

Birmingham MP Shabana Mahmood said the local community had been reeling from Monday’s incident and a “sense of shock and horror will linger for some time to come”.

Shahbon Hussain, a friend of the Rayaz family, said family members ran out of the house when they heard him screaming and a neighbor sprayed him with water. “The family is traumatized by what happened,” he said, adding that talks were in place to tighten security outside mosques to reassure worshippers.

The Ealing incident happened around 8pm on February 27. Police say the suspect struck up a conversation with Odowa as they left the Islamic center in west London before allegedly dozing him with liquid, believed to be petrol, and set on fire with a lighter. Police said the suspect then walked away.

Abbkr, who is originally from Sudan, gave no indication of pleading for either charge in court. He will next appear in Birmingham Crown Court on April 20.


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