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Sri Lankan man in UK attacked

2014 Feb 26

Sri Lankan born newsagent in Oxford, England is in hospital after being attacked by armed robbers last night, Oxford mail reported.

Two masked men wielding a knife and a hammer threatened Vijaya Bandara Karunaratne, known locally as Karu, who runs Littlemore News. Police said the shopkeeper, who is also a Littlemore Parish councillor, suffered arm and knee injuries during the robbery which ended with the thieves fleeing on bikes along Cowley Road carrying the cash register with them.

Abdul Ghaffar, 49, who owns the nearby Littlemore Minimarket in Cowley Road, said as soon as he heard he went to the shop and saw his friend Karu sitting on the steps outside with blood coming from his arm.

He said: “People were trying to stop the bleeding. He’s a very noble man and has worked there a long time but nothing like this has happened before.”

Gill Sanders, Oxford City Council member for Littlemore, said: “I know Karu, he would have fought off whoever it was to make sure they didn’t take anything they shouldn’t have.”

She said the father-of-two from Sri Lanka had worked behind the counter of the shop for about 10 years. “He really is a nice, family man, and a gentle person.

“What happened to him is really sad and unfortunate.”

Police cordoned off the scene yesterday and last night appealed for information to help catch the robbers responsible.

Barber Hamid Pani, of Unisex Barbers, next door to the shop, said he called the police after he saw the robbery.

He said: “I heard shouting and screaming. I went outside and saw two men inside the shop. One of them was up on the counter and one of them grabbed the till. It was terrible.”

A police helicopter was used in an attempt to track the suspects after the robbery.

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