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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 April 2006, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Fatal arson 'racially motivated'
CCTV of firebomber about to attack shop in Oval, south London
Police issued a CCTV image of the man about to throw the firebomb
Police hunting a man who firebombed a shop in south London, killing one employee and injuring three others, believe he is a racist serial arsonist.

Workers at the Pricecutter shop near the Oval were trapped inside as it was engulfed in flames on Thursday. Employee Khizar Hayat, 40, died.

Detectives think the same attacker was responsible for two other blazes.

They are linking him with fires at a Tulse Hill newsagent on 14 April and a South Norwood corner shop on 20 April.

Det Supt Richard Heselden told a Scotland Yard news conference on Sunday they were now linking all three incidents.

E-fit of suspect
Police chased the firebomb suspect, but lost him
He said: "In each case, the shopkeepers and owners have been unable to give any motive for the attacks.

"In the absence of any identifying motive, we are treating these offences as racial incidents."

Officers at nearby Lambeth police station chased a man seen throwing an object into the Pricecutter shop but lost him.

Mr Hayat's wife and family are believed to be in Kashmir and poor communications stemming from last year's earthquake have made it difficult to contact them.

He is thought to have children, and has been living in the UK for several years.

A second man, who was trapped along with Mr Hayat, is critically ill in hospital.

Two others ran through the flames and suffered minor burns.

The suspect is described as a black man, barrel-chested with a shaved head, aged 30 to 35, about 5ft 10in with a strong jaw line and rough skin.

Amateur footage of the arson attack


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