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Suspects in attack on Iranian journalist fled country


The suspects who allegedly stabbed a journalist for an independent Iranian media outlet in London last week fled the country after the attack, police said on Tuesday.

Pouria Zeraati, 36, a presenter for Persian-language Iran International, was stabbed in his leg last Friday afternoon outside his home in Wimbledon, southwest London.

He was treated in a hospital for injuries to his leg and released on Monday.

On Tuesday, Scotland Yard said three men carried out the attack.

“Detectives have established the victim was approached by two men in a residential street and attacked,” it said in a statement. “The suspects fled the scene in a vehicle driven by a third male.”

The suspects later abandoned the car, which is being examined by forensic experts, Scotland Yard said.

“After abandoning the vehicle, the suspects travelled directly to Heathrow Airport and left the UK within a few hours of the attack,” it said, without providing further details.

London’s Metropolitan Police had said after the stabbing that the motive was unclear, but that “the victim’s occupation as a journalist at a Persian-language media organisation based in the UK” was being considered.

Head of the police’s anti-terror unit, Dominic Murphy, said police still “do not know the reason why this victim was attacked, and there could be a number of explanations for this.”

“All lines of enquiry are being pursued, and we are keeping an open mind on any potential motivation for the attack,” he said.

Iran’s charge d’affaires in the U.K., Mehdi Hosseini Matin, on Saturday said that Tehran denied “any link” to the incident.

The Met has said it had disrupted what it has called plots in the U.K. to kidnap or even kill British or Britain-based individuals perceived as enemies of Tehran.

The Iranian government has declared Iran International a terrorist organization.

The U.K. government last year unveiled a tougher sanctions regime against Iran over alleged human rights violations and hostile actions against its opponents on U.K. soil.

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