A 17-year-old asylum seeker was brutally beaten by a gang of thugs in a suspected hate crime in south London.
The boy is believed to have been waiting at a bus stop with two friends outside a pub in Croydon when he was set upon by a group of eight men.
The men asked him where he was from and after finding out he was an asylum seeker, they chased him and repeatedly beat him over the head, leaving him unconscious, Scotland Yard said.
A number of people rushed to help him as he lay in the road following the attack, as police and paramedics raced to the scene at about 11.30pm on Friday.
The Met said the boy, who suffered serious head injuries, was taken to a south London hospital in a critical condition. He is now in a serious but stable condition.
DS Kris Blamires, from Croydon CID, said: “At this early stage it is believed that about eight suspects approached the victim as he waited at a bus stop with two friends outside the Goat Public House in the Shrublands.
“It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack.
“He has sustained critical head and facial injuries as a result of this attack which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.
“A number of people came to the aid of the victim as he lay unconscious and injured following the assault."
The suspects are believed to have made off in the direction of the Goat Pub, Broom Road, following the attack in Shrublands Avenue.
Police say they are are in the process of informing next of kin.
The two friends of the victim managed to escape the attackers and suffered minor injuries only.
There are no other reported injuries and no arrests have been made.
DC Blamires added: “I would encourage all those who came to his aid and those in the immediate area who witnessed the attack or saw the males leave the scene to get in touch.
“All communities stand together against hate and we would ask anyone with any information to come forward immediately.”
Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call Croydon CID during office hourson 0203 276 2234 or 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.