Fire hit van found abandoned 'linked to north London stabbings'


A burnt-out blue van found abandoned the day after two young men died and a teenager was seriously injured has been linked by police to three north London stabbings.

Sadiq Mohamed, 20 and Abdikarim Hassan, 17, died after being found separately in Camden borough with stab wounds within hours of each other on Tuesday evening.

A 16-year-old boy who remains in hospital after also being stabbed is "lucky to still be alive", the Metropolitan Police said at a briefing on Friday.

Officers discovered the burning Ford Transit van, which they do not believe was stolen, in Fletcher court on the Ingestre Road estate, the morning after the three attacks.

It was "hanging around" in each of the areas when the victims were fatally attacked, the force said, appealing for those who may have seen the van or those in it to come forward.

The Met has linked the three incidents due to their "proximity in time and locations, the nature of the attacks and developing lines of inquiry".

It confirmed that detectives were looking into whether any of the attacks were captured on CCTV.

On Thursday evening, an 18-year-old man was arrested at an address in Camden on suspicion of two counts of murder and one of grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Four men in their early 20s arrested on Wednesday in connection with the stabbing of the 16-year-old have been released under investigation.

Officers believe Abdikarim, who died of a stab wound to the chest, was attacked nearby before staggering to Bartholomew Road at around 8.30pm where he was given first aid by members of the public.

Abdikarim Hassan (Family handout/PA)
Abdikarim Hassan (Family handout/PA)

Around half an hour earlier, on Aldenham Street, officers came across the injured 16-year-old who they believe was attacked after he and another boy were chased by a group of three men.

They have established that Mr Mohamed was with a friend when the pair were chased by four men down an alleyway before he was stabbed and the group fled.

He was discovered in Malden Road, Camden, at around 10.13pm on Tuesday.

None of the weapons used in the attacks have been found.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Ryan, from the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command, would not comment on whether any of the victims or those arrested had links to gangs, or if they were known to the police or each other.

Mr Ryan said the stabbings were not linked "at this stage" to the death of 19-year-old Lewis Blackman, who was knifed in Kensington on Sunday.

Lewis Blackman who was killed in Kensington on Sunday and is one of several stabbing victims from Camden in the last week (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Lewis Blackman who was killed in Kensington on Sunday and is one of several stabbing victims from Camden in the last week (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Local members of the public had apparently drawn connections between this and Tuesday's stabbings because the teenager appeared to have lived on the road where one of the attacks occurred, he said.

Since the spate of attacks a section 60 order - which gives police the right to search people when they believe serious violence will take place - has been in place.

Police said they had made 35 stop and searches under the powers, resulting in eight arrests and a number of knives and baseball bats seized.

Chief Superintendent Nicholas Davies, in charge of policing in Camden, said they were being used in "a proportionate manner".

Members of the Met will attend a community meeting in Kentish Town tonight, where they expect north Londoners to air their concerns and share information.