A 14-year-old boy is fighting for his life in hospital after being stabbed outside a mosque in a suspected racially motivated attack after his father had dropped him off to attend a youth event.
Witnesses say the schoolboy was repeatedly stabbed in the neck and head as his brother watched on.
The attack happened outside the Idara Maarif-e-Islam Hussainia Mosque in Small Heath, Birmingham, at around 1am on Saturday.
The centre was hosting an event for around 200 children at the time.
The boy was left with several stab wounds and was taken to hospital by paramedics after suffering life-threatening injuries. He remains in a critical condition.
Mosque leaders believe the attack was “racially motivated”.
Adnan Khan, information secretary for the mosque, said: “This is the biggest event in the Shiah calendar.
“We believe this was a racist attack and the young lad was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We had been advised about security and now have knife scanners at the entrance to the halls, but obviously nothing in the street.
“We believe they were lying in wait for someone to attack.”
Police have arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder.
The victim had been attending a celebration at the mosque.
Hassan Shah, who is part of the mosque’s youth team, added: “His brother saw it all and was screaming to his dad to come and help.”
The mosques president Azhar Kiana added: “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.”
Another witness, who did not want to be named, and saw the aftermath, added: “It was pandemonium, everybody was screaming.
“The police and ambulance were here very quickly, we cannot understand why somebody would stab a young boy like this.
“I don’t know him but we are praying for him. It is really scary and I’m worried for the safety of my own children.”