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Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Schoolboys held over pensioner attack
Walter Chamberlain
Walter Chamberlain suffered serious facial injuries
Detectives in Oldham have arrested four Asian youths in connection with an attack on a 76-year-old pensioner.

War veteran Walter Chamberlain suffered facial injuries during the assault in Oldham, Greater Manchester, on 21 April.

The former bus conductor was walking home from a rugby match when he was set upon.

Police, who have described the attack as racist, said four Asian youths, all aged between 14 and 15, from the Westwood area of Oldham, would be interviewed on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Chamberlain, who took part in the D-Day landings during World War II and served on minesweepers with the Royal Navy, needed surgery for a fractured cheekbone after the incident.

The attack was condemned by Asian community leaders.

Greater Manchester Police Authority offered a 10,000 reward which was boosted to 15,000 by contributions from town residents, including the Asian business community.

'No-go zones'

Problems in Oldham were highlighted just before the incident involving Mr Chamberlain, when it was claimed that areas of the town were being made "no-go zones" for white people.

But police and local council groups have denied the existence of the no-go areas.

On Saturday there was trouble before and after Stoke City played Oldham Athletic in the town when Stoke fans allegedly hurled racist abuse at members of the Asian community.

Sixteen people were arrested in connection with public order offences.

Last week, Greater Manchester Police applied for a ban on a National Front march in the town, saying it was essential to enable positive community dialogue.

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