Man set on fire while walking home from Birmingham mosque
A man has suffered serious burns after he was set on fire while walking home from a mosque in Birmingham.
The victim was sprayed with an unknown liquid and had his jacket set on fire while walking in Edgbaston on Monday night.
He was rushed to hospital, where he was treated for serious burn injuries.
West Midlands Police is now examining CCTV and social media footage of the incident.
The force said in a statement: “We’re investigating after a man was set alight on Brixham Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, just after 7pm.
“It’s believed the man, who was walking home from Dudley Road Mosque, was approached by a man.
“He spoke to him briefly before spraying him with an unknown substance and then his jacket was set alight, causing burns to his face.
“He was taken to hospital with serious injuries which are thankfully not believed to be life-threatening.”
Officers are aware of a video posted on social media “showing a man being set alight, and we’re examining it as part of our investigations”, the statement added.
Superintendent James Spencer said: “Our officers have been working through the night to establish what happened and who is responsible.
“We’re examining CCTV and speaking to witnesses and are determined to find out who is responsible.
“I’ve been speaking to people this morning, and so I know just how concerned they are and that people are after answers.
“We are determined to find the person responsible and get those answers as soon as possible, and I’d urge the community to work with us and to avoid any speculation at this stage.”
Shabron Hussain, a solicitor and family friend, told BirminghamLive: ”The family are pretty devastated they are asking people to pray and support him. We are asking for the community to be alert - but not to panic.”
Councillor Rizwan Jalil, who is also from West Midlands fire authority, told how he is “appalled by the vile attack on a pillar of this community.” He told BirminghamLive: ”I’m absolutely appalled by this vile attack on an elderly respected gentleman.
“He is a pillar of this community who has lived here for well over 20 years. He has children, a large family. He doesn’t deserve to be a victim of this brutal attack. No one does.
“He was returning home from the mosque around 8pm when it happened. The police are investigating and if anyone has any information - please contact them.”
Extra officers will be in the area today to speak to the community and to provide reassurance.
Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch with West Midlands Police via Live Chat on the force website, or to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The Independent has contacted West Midlands Police.