Man arrested over deadly stabbings in UK

AFP
A 27-year-old man has been arrested over the mass stabbings in Britain's second city Birmingham that killed one person and critically wounded two, police said on Monday.
AFP
Man arrested over deadly stabbings in UK
AFP

A police officer stands near to a small forensics tent as he mans a cordon at the junction of Church Street and Barwick Street, following a major stabbing incident in the center of Birmingham, central England, on Sunday.

A 27-year-old man has been arrested over the mass stabbings in Britain’s second city Birmingham that killed one person and critically wounded two, police said on Monday.

The man was held on suspicion of murder and seven attempted murders carried out after midnight Saturday, West Midlands Police said.

The suspect was detained in the Selly Oak area of the city at around 4am and he remained in police custody for questioning.

A 23-year-old man suffered fatal injuries and died in the attack, while a man and a woman, aged 19 and 32, are in a critical condition in hospital.

“Officers worked through Monday and into the early hours of this morning in a bid to trace the man we believe responsible for these terrible crimes,” said Birmingham police chief Steve Graham.

“Clearly this is a crucial development but our investigation continues,” he added.

The attack occurred at four separate locations in the busy city center between 12:30am and 2:30am.

Officers ruled out hate crime and also rejected any links to gang violence or terrorism.

“It does appear to be random in terms of the people that were attacked,” said Graham. “This is being treated as a homicide.”

Britain has been on high alert after two mass stabbings in London in the last year, which saw armed officers shoot dead both perpetrators — convicted Islamic extremists who had been released early from prison.

In June, a man was charged with murder after three people were stabbed to death in a park in Reading, west of London, in an attack under investigation by counter-terrorism police.

Six people, including one police officer, were then injured at a hotel housing asylum seekers in the Scottish city of Glasgow. Armed police also shot dead the suspected attacker.

Stabbings in England and Wales increased 6 percent in the year to the end of March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Birmingham is one of Britain’s most ethnically diverse cities with a population of more than one million, and has had an explosive recent history of gang violence.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel both sent condolences to the victims and thanked the emergency services, who declared a “major incident” in response to the attacks.

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