A 14-year-old boy is in critical condition after being stabbed outside a mosque in Birmingham.
The attack was one of several violent incidents in four cities that have left two people dead and several others injured on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday.
Police said the teenager suffered several stab wounds in the attack in the Small Heath area shortly after 1am on Saturday and was taken to hospital by paramedics.
A cordon has been put in place at the scene in Herbert Road while specialist teams carry out forensic investigations.
West Midlands police said they were treating the attack as a terror incident but the motivation remained unclear. One line of inquiry was that the incident could have been a racially motivated hate crime.
The incident occurred when the boy was dropped off at the Idaara Maarif-e-Islam mosque by his father, who went to park the car.
Azhar Kiana, president of the mosque, told the Birmingham Mail: “It happened on the pavement. By the time the dad parked his car his son was on the floor. There was a young man who was brutally beating the boy with a knife.
“There was blood everywhere, he was hitting the boy’s neck and head. Then the attacker ran off and got into a car.”
Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, expressed his shock in a tweet:
DI Jim Colclough, from the complex crime investigation team at Bournville Lane police station, said: “An investigation is under way to identify those responsible.
“This is a tragic event which has left a young boy is in hospital fighting for his life, so I’d urge anyone who was in the vicinity, saw what happened, or has any other information which may help our investigation to contact me or my team on 101 or to call Crimestoppers as soon as possible.”
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