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Search continues for suspected chemical attacker with 'significant injuries' to his face

A woman attacked with a corrosive alkaline substance remains “very poorly” in hospital.

THE SEARCH FOR suspected chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi is in its third day as police say he was last seen at London’s King’s Cross Tube station before boarding a southbound Victoria line train.

Police have urged the 35-year-old from the Newcastle area – who is described as having very “significant injuries to the right side of his face” – to hand himself in after going on the run following Wednesday’s attack in Clapham, south London.

A 31-year-old mother, believed to be known to Ezedi, was attacked with a corrosive alkaline substance and remains “very poorly” and sedated in hospital, with her injuries thought to be “life-changing”.

The injuries to her daughters, aged three and eight, are “not likely to be life-changing”.

In a statement today, police said they had tracked Ezedi’s movements, but there are no confirmed sightings since 9pm on Wednesday, when he boarded a Victoria Line underground train travelling southbound.

Commander Jon Savell said: “

The police investigation to establish his subsequent movements and ultimately locate him is continuing at pace. I want to thank everyone who has contacted police to share what they know.

“We have received dozens of calls with information, including possible sightings, and every single piece of information has been recorded and forms part of our ongoing investigation.

“I can assure the public that my colleagues and I are fully committed to using every available tool and tactic for as long as it takes to find Abdul Ezedi.

I am today urging the public to remain vigilant and to contact police immediately if they may have seen Ezedi or have information about him. I would also like to reiterate that if you see Ezedi, you should call 999 immediately. He should not be approached.


clapham-common-incident Handout CCTV image dated 31/01/24 issued by the Metropolitan Police of Abdul Ezedi, the suspect in the Clapham alkaline substance attack, at King's Cross underground station at 2100. Issue date: Friday February 2, 2024. PA PA

New footage

Police also issued new footage of the search for Ezedi. So far there have been raids at two addresses in east London and three in Newcastle.

“We are today releasing footage of officers entering one address in Newcastle where empty containers with corrosive warnings on the labels were recovered,” the force said.

“Forensic tests are currently ongoing to see if the containers held the substance used in the attack.”

 Asylum questions

Questions remain over how the suspect, who was granted asylum in the UK after two failed attempts, was able to stay in the country despite being convicted of a sex offence.

Ezedi, who is thought to have arrived in the UK from Afghanistan on the back of a lorry in 2016, claimed to have converted to Christianity, which would have put him at risk following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he was handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on 9 January 2018 after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure.

He was put on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Prime Minster Rishi Sunak’s spokesman said on Friday that the PM does not think “foreign criminals should be able to stay” in the UK.

It has been reported that the suspect was able to gain asylum after claiming he had converted to Christianity.

The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle said in a statement it had found nothing to suggest he had become a Catholic but checks were continuing.

Direct appeal

Metropolitan Police Commander Jon Savell told reporters outside Scotland Yard on Friday that “significant and important pieces of evidence” were recovered in searches carried out in east London and Newcastle on Thursday night.

Making a direct appeal to Ezedi, Mr Savell said: “Abdul, you clearly have got some very significant injuries.

“We’ve seen the images. You need some medical help, so do the right thing and hand yourself in.”

His brother Hassan Ezedi told The Sun newspaper he would hand the suspect in if he knew where he was.

The wanted man left Newcastle in the “very, very early hours” of Wednesday and travelled south to the capital and was in the Tooting area by around 6.30am, police say.

His vehicle was seen again in Croydon, south London, at around 4.30pm and by around 7pm he was in Streatham.

Ezedi allegedly threw the younger child to the ground during the attack at 7.25pm, before attempting to drive away from the scene, crashing into a stationary vehicle and fleeing on foot.

Minutes later he boarded a tube at Clapham South Underground station, and by 8pm he was at King’s Cross tube station.

At 8.42pm, Ezedi was captured on CCTV in Tesco on the Caledonian Road, pictured with a “fairly significant facial injury” buying a bottle of water, before leaving and heading right.

embedded275210182 The scene of the incident. PA PA

He got on a Victoria line Tube at 9pm heading south, the last confirmed sighting.

Police say three members of the public who came to the aid of the family during Wednesday’s attack, two in their 30s and one in her 50s, have all been discharged from hospital with minor burns.

Five officers who responded to the incident were also treated and have now left hospital.

One witness to the attack, bus driver Shannon Christi, told the PA news agency she was affected by the substance while trying to help the woman and two children outside her home.

She told of seeing a man throwing a child on the floor, before hearing the mother saying: “I can’t see, I can’t see.”

As well as the 11 people taken to hospital, a man in his 50s, who also helped, declined hospital treatment for minor injuries, police said.