News Murder investigation begins as one dead, seven hurt in Birmingham stabbings

Murder investigation begins as one dead, seven hurt in Birmingham stabbings

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One man has died and seven people have been injured in late-night stabbings in a busy nightlife area in the central English city of Birmingham.

“We can now confirm that we’ve launched a murder investigation following the events in Birmingham city centre overnight,” West Midlands Police said on Sunday.

“A man has tragically died.

“Another man and a woman have suffered serious injuries and five others have also been injured, although their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

“We believe the incidents, which took place between 12.30am and 2.20am, are linked and we’re doing all we can to find whoever was responsible.”

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham of West Midlands Police said later detectives are still investigating the motive but “there is absolutely no suggestion at all that this is terror-related”.

West Midlands Police said officers were called to reports of a stabbing shortly after midnight on Sunday. That was soon followed by reports of other stabbings across the city centre over a period of about two hours.

Police said they believed the stabbings were linked and had launched a murder investigation.

Chief Superintendent Graham said two of the seven injured people, a man and a woman, were in critical condition in hospitals. Five others received “relatively minor” injuries.

The site of one attack is in the city’s Gay Village but he said there was no suggestion the crime was “motivated by hate”.

Police cordoned off an area in the centre of the city full of bars and nightclubs.

Witnesses said they were busy on Saturday night, with many people eating and drinking at outdoor tables. More cordons and blue forensic tents were set up about 800 metres away, near the city’s Snow Hill train station.

Cara Curran, a club promoter, said she saw multiple people fighting in the street.

“It was one group of boys against another group of boys,” she told the BBC, adding that “racial slurs” were being thrown.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was “a very serious incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families”.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street urged people “to not speculate about the incident” and to “remain calm but vigilant”.

Official statistics show knife crime is on the rise in the UK, where most guns are outlawed, though the number of homicides with blades fell in 2019 from the year before.

Britain has seen several recent knife attacks, including a stabbing rampage in a city park in Reading, near London, in June that killed three people. A Libyan man has been charged.