Man accused of attacks near UK mosques held in custody

A 28-year-old man was remanded in custody on Thursday accused of attempting to murder two elderly men who were set on fire shortly after leaving mosques in the UK.

Mohammed Abbkr, 28, from Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England, was placed in custody by the city's magistrates court following the attacks last month and earlier this week.

Police arrested him on Tuesday following an investigation also involving counter-terrorism police.

Abbkr, originally from Sudan, will next appear at Birmingham Crown Court on April 20.

His lawyer appeared in court via a video-link, but gave no indication of how his client will plead and made no bail application.

Abbkr allegedly sprayed a substance on the two men outside or near mosques they had attended and then set them alight, in west London on February 27 and Birmingham on Monday.

The victim in the attack in the British capital, 82-year-old Hashi Odowa, was treated for severe burns to his face and arms.

The perpetrator spoke to him before dousing him in what is believed to be petrol and setting him on fire, according to police.

In the Birmingham attack, Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was set on fire as he walked home from a mosque in Edgbaston on Monday evening.

He remains in hospital with severe injuries.

Police are appealing for video footage to help the investigation.

Source: Agence France Presse

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