Man arrested over fire assaults in London and Birmingham

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a Birmingham man was deliberately set on fire as he walked back to his home from his mosque and for a similar fire assault incident which took place in London last month.

Mohammed Rayaz, 70 was sprayed with an unknown substance as he walked along the street and was then set alight. He received injuries that included severe burns to his hands and face.

In London last month there was a similar attack on an 82-year-old man who was walking back from the West London Islamic Centre when he too was doused in a liquid and set of fire.

Birmingham MP for Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood organised a community walkabout on Wednesday to reassure members of the Muslim community. She said that the “sense of shock and horror is going to linger.”

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday outside the Edgbaston mosque and police have confirmed he was arrested on suspicion f attempted murder although at the moment they are unable to give the public any details about the motive for the crime.

Shahbon Hussain who is the lead coordinator of the local StreetWatch and a friend of Mohammed Rayaz said “at the moment he is not able to open his eyes. He’s undergoing various skin grafts as a result of the horrific injuries. It is going to be a slow road to recovery and the family are traumatised by what happened.”

Chief Supt Sean Wilson of the Met’s Area Command told the BBC “Despite a man having been arrested, we continue to be vigilant and urge local people to do the same.”

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.