Boy, 14, fights for life after being stabbed in football game row by sword wielding youths wearing niqabs
Reader comment on item: Niqabs and Burqas as Security Threats
Submitted by SeafoodGumbo (United States), Jun 18, 2008 at 12:28
Two youths were seen wearing niqab-style face masks and wielding a sword after a 14-year-old boy was stabbed, locals have claimed.
One was heard to say 'I'm going to kill him' as the pair walked calmly down a residential street chatting at about midday yesterday.
The schoolboy was knifed in the chest just yards away at 5pm on Tuesday.
He collapsed in a pool of blood in front of drinkers outside a pub as they enjoyed an after work pint.
Forensic officers investigate the scene of a stabbing attack which left a 14-year-old boy fighting for his life
A terrified local, who saw the sword-wielding teens but did not want to be named, said: 'I saw two boys wearing Muslim women's headgear but normal clothes otherwise and you could see only their eyes.
'One of them was carrying a sword with a huge blade over a foot long which looked like something you would use to gut a lamb.
'I saw them and my heart was gone. I've never been so terrified.
'Although I could only see their eyes I could see their hands as well and they were two black boys, tall, probably about six feet and I would guess they were 16 or 17 years old.'
They were less than 50 yards from the Tabard Garden Estate in Southwark, South East London, when the boy was attacked after a row among teenagers on an astro-turf football pitch in a park.
The pair were spotted by a number of locals going into a block of flats right by the scene of the stabbing.
Another local who did not wish to be named said: 'They were just walking up the street calmly chatting in the middle of the day while they wearing masks and openly carrying a blade.
'I heard one say to the other "I'm going to kill him." It was completely unbelievable, I've never seen anything like it, what is this country coming to?
'I've lived in this area for years and have always felt safe, but not anymore. The government has to do something about this, they need to take some tough action because things are getting worse.'
Eddie Suleyman, 32, chef at the Roebuck pub who saw the boy collapsed on the ground, said: 'It was horrific - everyone was shocked.
'At one stage there were two girls treating the poor boy. One was beside him crying and the other was trying to stem the blood from his wounds.
'At first we thought it was an epileptic fit because we didn't notice any blood to start with and he just kind of toppled over.
'A girl stopped to try and help him. Then more and more people were running around to help.
'When one girl turned around and was crying, because she realised what had happened, we realised as well.
'About 25 people were around the boy by the time the air ambulance showed up so it was hard to see exactly what was going on and I couldn't see just how much blood there was.
'But when he was lifted into the back of the ambulances you could see there was blood everywhere. It was awful.'
The victim, who is of Caribbean origin, was taken by helicopter to the Royal London Hospital in east London where his condition remains 'critical'.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: 'At this early stage, it is believed the victim was involved in an altercation with a number of youths prior to the incident. We retain an open mind as to any motive.'
Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
The boy is the latest in victim of knife crime in the capital. A total of 16 teenagers have been murdered in London in 2008 while 27 teens were killed in the capital 2007.
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