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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Four killed in London New Year stabbings

A fifth young man is in a critical condition in hospital, police said

Four young men died after separate knife attacks in a 15-hour period during the New Year celebrations in London. Leon Neal / Getty Images
Four young men died after separate knife attacks in a 15-hour period during the New Year celebrations in London. Leon Neal / Getty Images

Four young men were stabbed to death across London during the New Year celebrations, police said on Monday.

Three of the incidents took place on New Year’s Eve, while a fourth took place in the early hours of January 1. The attacks are believed to have been unrelated.

A fifth young man is in a critical condition in hospital.

Five men have been arrested in connection with the attacks, police said.

All of the incidents took place away from the city centre, where more than 100,000 people had gathered to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks.

At around 7:30pm UK time, a 20-year-old man was killed in West Ham, east London, while a 17-year-old boy was fatally stabbed in Tulse Hill, in the south of the city, at around 10:40pm.

The third victim, an 18-year-old man, was stabbed in Enfield, north London, late on Sunday evening.

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Early on New Year’s Day, a 20-year-old man was fatally stabbed in Old Street, a popular area for revellers east of the city centre.

A second man in his 20s was hurt in the same incident, and was taken to hospital suffering critical stab injuries.

Police commander Neil Jerome said: "It is heartbreaking that, at a time when so many of us are contemplating what lies ahead in 2018, four families are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one to senseless violence and the callous use of knives as lethal weapons."

The spate of violence will add to growing concerns about knife crime in the British capital, which is at its highest level for five years.

At least 80 people were killed in stabbings in London in 2017, more than half of them under the age of 25.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a major campaign to reduce knife crime, including giving some high-risk schools metal detectors, while the government is also looking into tougher measures for people carrying knives.