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UK: Two Somali teenagers hunted down and shot dead in Milton Keynes

Friday 27 May 2011 – Police seek witnesses to gunman’s alleyway chase after killing of men aged 18 and 19

Two teenagers were hunted by a gunman and shot dead as they tried to escape down an alleyway, police have said.

The incident took place in the Fishermead area of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, shortly after 10pm on Thursday. A 19-year-old, named locally as Mohamed Abdi Farah, from Somalia, died at the scene, while Amin Ahmen Ismail, aged 18, died after being taken to Milton Keynes hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. He had been put under police protection at the hospital “for his own safety”.

Rashid Hirad, the uncle of Farah, told Sky News that his nephew had been in hiding for the last few weeks in Birmingham. He said that after Farah had been beaten up repeatedly, his mother had moved away from the town taking him with her, but he kept returning to Milton Keynes to visit friends.

Hirad said: “She decided to move from Milton Keynes to Birmingham because she wanted to run away from these people, but she couldn’t; all the time he is coming back to Milton Keynes to visit friends, and at last it happened.”

Detective Superintendent Rob Mason, leading the investigation for Thames Valley police, said: “Clearly we are at the very early stages of our investigation into this incident.

“A large area of Fishermead is currently sealed off while officers carry out investigations and protect the scene. I appreciate that residents will feel concerned about this incident. However, there is a large and highly visible police presence in the area.

“I also appreciate that there will be a lot of rumour and intrigue in the community. However, we are at the very early stages of this investigation, and, as such, I cannot speculate on possible reasons for the attack. I would ask that anyone who has any information about this incident contacts Thames Valley police urgently.”

Mason said police officers had spoken to leaders of the Somali community in Milton Keynes, and had asked one man to record a video appeal that would be uploaded to YouTube: “We have had an excellent response from a number of people who have come forward to inform us of what they have heard during the incident and before the incident.”

He added: “We believe that the victims in this incident are friends, but we do not know if the offender is known to them.”

Dozens of Farah’s friends stood in silence at the scene of the killings while police forensic officers searched for evidence and clues to the identity of the gunman.

A family friend of Farah said that he believed he had been chased and shot in a gangland mix-up. “We’re all in shock,” said the friend. “I’ve spoken to the family who are extremely traumatised. He was such a lovely sweet boy. He never got into trouble. We think he was chased and they got the wrong guy.”

Farah had five brothers and sisters. He finished his studies two years ago after attending schools in Milton Keynes. His aunt, Amina Hassan, said: “He was such a lovely boy. He was hard working and studying to go to university to be an engineer. He looked after his mum and brothers and sisters so well. I can’t believe anyone would want to do this.”

The charity Crimestoppers is offering up to £5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shootings.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/

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