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Watch: Police in hazmat suits at east London property

By Jake Lapham
BBC News

A manhunt for the suspect in a corrosive-substance attack on a mother and her daughters in Clapham is continuing, after he was last seen on the London Underground at King’s Cross.

Police are trying to piece together Abdul Shokoor Ezedi’s movements after he was captured by CCTV at the station.

He was seen boarding a Victoria line train heading southbound at 21:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The mother, 31, remains “very poorly” with expected life-changing injuries.

Her daughters, aged three and eight, suffered injuries not “as serious as first thought” and “not likely to be life-changing”.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Saturday morning there were no developments in the search overnight.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday afternoon, Metropolitan Police Cdr Jon Savell called on Ezedi – who has very significant injuries to the right side of his face – to come forward.

“Abdul, you clearly have got some very significant injuries,” Cdr Savell said.

“We’ve seen the images. You need some medical help, so do the right thing and hand yourself in.”

Images of Ezedi inside King’s Cross station, about 90 minutes after the attack, were released by police on Friday.

Cdr Savell also revealed “significant and important pieces of evidence” were recovered following search warrants in east London and Newcastle on Thursday.

Two empty containers labelled with corrosive warnings were found at an address in Newcastle, and forensic tests are under way to determine if they held the substance used during the attack.

The wanted man left the Newcastle area in the early hours before travelling down to the capital, where the attack happened in Lessar Avenue, Clapham, at 19:25 on Wednesday.

This is the latest image to be released by the Met Police – showing Ezedi at King’s Cross

The mother and her two girls were seriously hurt after the substance was thrown at them, according to initial details.

Three women and a man attempted to stop the attacker as he fled the scene. He tried to leave in a car, but he collided with a parked vehicle and then ran on foot towards Clapham Common.

Three members of the public, who came to the aid of the family, have all been discharged from hospital with minor burns.

Five officers who attended the attack were also treated and have now left hospital.

Ezedi was later seen at a Tesco in the King’s Cross area before boarding a southbound Victoria Line tube from the area’s underground station at 21:00 on Wednesday.

The BBC has confirmed Ezedi,who is believed to have travelled on a lorry from Afghanistan in 2016, was convicted of a sexual offence in 2018.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he was sentenced on 9 January 2018 after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual assault and one of exposure.

He was given a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court and put on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Ezedi was later granted asylum after two failed attempts. He was allowed to stay in the country after a priest confirmed he had converted to Christianity.

An asylum seeker can claim asylum in the UK if they fear religious persecution in their native country.

It is not yet known which Christian denomination supported Ezedi’s claim.

The Catholic Church in the North East confirmed Ezedi was part of a justice and peace charitable project, but has yet to confirm whether he was helped in other ways.

The BBC has spoken to the owner of a supermarket in Byker, Newcastle, who said he saw Ezedi in his shop on Tuesday.

“He seemed normal and relaxed and in general was always respectful and polite. He worked six or seven days in a pizza shop behind the counter,” the shop owner called Yaya said.

“I was shocked. He was working hard. In the two years I knew him he never drank.

“A few months ago he said he was working hard to go back to Afghanistan to get married to a woman and bring her back to the UK, because he was tired of being single.”

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