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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 21:17 GMT 22:17 UK
'Rivals started riot rape rumour'
People gathering outside Beauty Queen Cosmetics
Crowds gathered outside the beauty shop last week
The owner of a shop where a teenage girl was allegedly raped, sparking riots in Birmingham, says it was just a rumour to harm his business.

Ajaib Hussein, who owns the Beauty Queens salon in Perry Barr, told BBC Asian Network he believes the rumour was started by commercial rivals.

The rape allegation was broadcast on a pirate radio station, but police say no crime has been reported to them.

Two men have died since rioting flared in Lozells on Saturday evening.

Officers from West Midlands Police have conducted a forensic examination of the beauty salon.

I have lost my business, I have lost my respect with my family and friends
Ajaib Hussein
Mr Hussein told the BBC on Monday he plans to re-open his shop "as soon as possible".

He said: "Basically some business people tried to spoil my business and tried to misguide their own public and community against me.

"It has affected me badly. I have lost my business, I have lost my respect with my family and friends.

"My family and friends are stressed but it is stressful throughout our community not only family and friends - in the Asian and black community.

"It is all a business problem. I tried to do my best and I tried to sell my stuff very cheap and that's why the people cannot take it

"They are just playing politics and spoiling my business.

Fatal shooting

"The police interviewed us and let us go and they told my solicitor nothing happened like that in that kind of place (the salon)."

West Midlands Police said it is a matter for traders when they re-open their shops, although they began liaising with shops in Perry Barr and Lozells when the trouble started.

A spokesman said they had always treated the allegation as serious, but no victim has come forward.

During the violence on Saturday one man was stabbed to death by a gang of up to 11 men, after returning home from the cinema.

A second man was shot dead on Sunday in Newtown, near to the scene of further rioting.

Two men have been arrested over the shooting in the Newtown area, but police do not yet know if it is linked to the weekend violence.




SEE ALSO:
Knife mob killed city riot victim
24 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
Man killed in Birmingham clashes
23 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
In pictures: Birmingham clashes
23 Oct 05 |  In Pictures
Community with history of tension
23 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
Residents' fear during violence
23 Oct 05 |  West Midlands


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