A 31-year-old woman and her two daughters — ages 3 and 8 — were injured after alkaline was thrown at them in South London, England
A mother and two young children are among those injured in what authorities believe is a "targeted" corrosive attack in South London, England.
On Wednesday, the police responded to an alert that a corrosive substance had been thrown at a 31-year-old woman and her two daughters — ages 3 and 8 — at Lessar Avenue in the London borough of Lambeth at about 7:25 p.m. local time, the police said in a release posted online.
"While none of their conditions are life-threatening, the injuries to the woman and younger girl could be life-changing. It may be some time before hospital staff are able to say how serious that might be," said Superintendent Gabriel Cameron, a senior officer who polices in Lambeth.
Three other adults — two women in their 30s and one in her 50s — also sustained injuries when they came to the mother and two children's aid, Cameron said, noting that they have been discharged from the hospital. Another man in his 50s also suffered from minor injuries after coming to the victims' aid, but he declined hospital treatment.
Additionally, five officers who attended the scene were treated for minor injuries at the hospital and have since been discharged, Cameron confirmed.
A manhunt is currently underway for Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, 35, who the police said is "wanted in connection with corrosive substance attack in Clapham." Authorities believe he "sustained significant injuries to the right side of his face."
"It was reported that a man had thrown a child to the ground and that a substance — which we now know to be alkaline — had been thrown. The man attempted to make off in a car but collided with a stationary vehicle, and then made off on foot, in the direction of Clapham Common," Cameron said.
The superintendent added that they "believe the man and woman are known to each other" as they continue to investigate "why this awful incident has happened."
Authorities, meanwhile, are working with the British Transport Police, "other partner agencies and forces to locate and arrest the man." Cameron added that "while this appears a targeted attack, he is a dangerous individual and we urgently need to find him. We will release more information about him as soon as we can."
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“Everything we know at the moment points to this being two people who know each other, it’s not random,” Met police commissioner Mark Rowley told BBC Radio London on Thursday, per The Guardian.
A witness, who lives on the street of the incident, told the BBC that after hearing a lot of shouting and a "bang," she ran outside and saw a man throwing a child on the floor and throwing her again after picking her up.
The witness then ran over to grab the child before hearing the mother say, "I can't see I can't see," the outlet reported, adding that the witness' partner tried to chase after the suspect who eventually got away.
"I chased him halfway down the road, but I was in slippers so didn't get very far," they told the BBC. "As I came back, that's when I saw the woman who had been attacked ... so I ran inside to get some water and just sprayed her down with water."
The superintendent, meanwhile, thanked those who attempted to help the people attacked. "All these members of the public, and my officers, deserve enormous recognition and praise for coming to the aid of this woman and children in what must have been a terrifying scenario. We will provide them with all the support we can," Cameron said.
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