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Protesters chant and wave British Union Jack flags during a protest titled 'London march against terrorism' in response to the March 22 Westminster terror attack on April 1, 2017 in London, England. The march has been organised by far right groups English Defence League and Britain First, which also sees a counter-protest held by group 'Unite Against Fascism'. During the terror attack in Westminster, Khalid Masood killed 4 people as he drove a car into pedestrians over Westminster Bridge and stabbed PC Keith Palmer to death before being shot dead himself. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Protesters chant and wave British Union Jack flags during a protest titled 'London march against terrorism' in response to the March 22 Westminster terror attack on April 1, 2017 in London, England. The march has been organised by far right groups English Defence League and Britain First, which also sees a counter-protest held by group 'Unite Against Fascism'. During the terror attack in Westminster, Khalid Masood killed 4 people as he drove a car into pedestrians over Westminster Bridge and stabbed PC Keith Palmer to death before being shot dead himself. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

U.K. police appeal for info in hate crime attack on youth Add to ...

UK detectives appealed Saturday for information and witnesses who might have seen a group of youths attack a teenage asylum-seeker in the London borough of Croydon.

The attack left the 17-year-old Iranian Kurd in serious but stable condition in a London hospital. Authorities are treating the matter as a suspected hate crime.

Detective Sergeant Kris Blamires said the teenager was at a bus stop with two friends when approached by about eight youths.

“The suspects asked the victim where he was from and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack,” Blamires said in a statement. “He has sustained serious head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.”

The teen’s friends managed to get away.

British police say hate crimes remain under-reported in Britain. The country has seen a surge in xenophobia expressed in threats, taunts and physical attacks after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last year.

Much of the Brexit debate focused on an influx of migrants into Britain from other EU countries — and whether their presence was making it harder for Britons to find work, housing and medical care.

Police recorded 1,546 racially or religiously aggravated offences in England and Wales in the two weeks before the June 23 referendum, and 2,241 in the two weeks after it, the Home Office said. The total for July was up 41 per cent from the same month a year earlier.

London’s police force has increased the number of specialist investigators by 30 per cent in the past two years, with more than 900 dedicated to investigating such attacks.

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