Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 20:02 UK

Shot baby dies from airgun wounds

Rashid Ullah
Rashid Ullah was shot at his home in Birmingham

An 18-month-old boy who was shot in the head with an airgun in his Birmingham home has died in hospital.

Rashid Ullah was shot in the garden of his home in Washwood Heath on 24 August.

It is believed one of his sisters accidentally shot him after picking up the airgun, which her father had been using for target practice.

The boy, who was being treated at Birmingham Children's Hospital, died on Monday afternoon, police said.

West Midlands Police said the incident appeared to be a "tragic accident". Police investigations are continuing.

The toddler was left in a critical condition after the incident and surgeons had been waiting for the swelling to go down before they could remove the pellet.

After Rashid was injured, his family released a statement which said: "We hope anyone who has an air weapon realises how dangerous these guns can be."

Campaigners' call

The case has been referred to Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board for further consideration, in line with any child death in the city.

A spokesman for the board said: "Any child death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with Rashid's family at this difficult period. We are co-operating fully with the police at this time."

Campaigners earlier called for legislation to register airguns and make their owners more liable for their weapons' misuse.

The Gun Control Network, which campaigns for tighter controls on guns of all kinds, has said such incidents were preventable.

But the National Small-bore Rifle Association said the government had already rejected certification.

The association added that tighter controls on the purchase and possession of airguns had come into force last October but it was "too early to know" what effect they had had on their misuse.

Shot toddler remains in hospital
31 Aug 08 |  West Midlands
Shot toddler family issue warning
27 Aug 08 |  West Midlands
Controls plea after toddler shot
26 Aug 08 |  West Midlands
Toddler shot with airgun critical
26 Aug 08 |  West Midlands

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