A man has been charged over a terrifying firebombing campaign against retailers in South London which left two men dead and several more injured.
All three attacks, which took place in the past few weeks, were against Asian-owned businesses and are believed to have been racially motivated.
The first incident took place on April 14, when a man threw a petrol bomb into the News at Nine newsagent in Tulse Hill, resulting in minor injuries to a customer.
The same attacker is believed to have struck again on April 20 at a store in South Norwood. On this occasion the retailer sustained burns to his arms and legs as he ran to save his life.
But the most devastating firebomb attack took place on April 27 at the Price Cutter convenience store on Clapham Road, which claimed the life of 40-year-old employee Khizar Hayat, (C-Store, May 5, p5).
Since then a second employee, 31-year-old Hamidi Hamidullah, has also died as a result of injuries sustained in the attack. Two other employees who were also in the store at the time escaped with minor injuries.
Robert Torto, 32, from Stockwell, South London, has appeared before magistrates in Greenwich charged with two counts of murder. He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey in August.
Asian-owned businesses in the area were warned to ensure that they have proper escape routes planned in the event of similar attacks.