(MENAFN) In a shocking incident that has sent shockwaves across the United Kingdom, an elderly Muslim worshipper was set ablaze on his way home from a mosque in the English city of Birmingham on Monday evening. The perpetrator, who is yet to be identified, briefly spoke to the victim before spraying him with an unknown substance and setting his jacket on fire, which quickly spread to his face. The victim was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
West Midlands police have made one arrest on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the incident. The counterterrorism unit of the police force is also assisting with the investigation and trying to determine if the attack is linked to a similar incident that took place in Ealing, London on February 27. In that case, a victim was attacked as he left an Islamic center in the London borough.
The incident has sparked widespread outrage and condemnation from politicians, community leaders, and the public at large. Many have dubbed the attack a hate crime and called for the perpetrator to be brought to justice. The West Midlands police have assured that they are doing everything in their power to catch the culprit and have requested anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Chief Supt. Richard North of Birmingham Police has described the incident as "a really serious incident" and has expressed his shock and dismay at the brazen attack on an innocent individual who was simply going about his business. The incident has once again raised concerns about rising hate crimes in the UK and the need for more measures to be put in place to safeguard vulnerable communities.
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