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Iranian journalist shares defiant photo from hospital bed after being stabbed outside London home

Pouria Zeraati smiling and holding up the peace sign in his hospital bed (Instagram/Pouria Zeraati)
Pouria Zeraati smiling and holding up the peace sign in his hospital bed (Instagram/Pouria Zeraati)

An Iranian journalist who was stabbed outside his London home has shared a defiant photo of himself smiling in a hospital bed.

Pouria Zeraati, who hosts a show on the Persian language network Iran International, was attacked as he left his house in Wimbledon on Friday.

On Saturday, he posted a photograph of himself holding up the peace sign with his hands while still in hospital.

He is now in a “stable condition” in hospital as counter-terrorism police investigate the incident.

The Metropolitan Police said they were called at 2.49pm and that the victim, in his 30s, suffered an injury to his leg.

No one has been arrested yet.

It comes as a neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said the attackers were “laughing” as they fled the scene.

The man said he was walking down Queensmere Road with a friend and witnessed the aftermath.

He said: “It’s a very quiet suburban road and we saw two young men sprinting towards us, about 20 yards away and then got into a car. They sped off.

“It felt odd. The two men were laughing, quite clearly laughing. I looked two of them in the eye - they were no more than a cricket pitch length away from me.

“We took the number plate and about ten seconds later there’s a man trying to flagf us down. We tried to give first aid and take his jeans off.

“He had been stabbed, I think four times. He had his jeans on and he had a pool of blood on his leg. It was [awful] to see.”

The neighbour said that the police arrived within minutes and that the victim kept shouting that he was a journalist. He said he does not know the victim personally.

“He was panicking and got someone to call his wife. He is going to be fine but he was bleeding quite a lot.”

“It’s really out of character for the area,” he added. “It was targeted, not a random attack.

“A lady I spoke to was shocked. The police were saying they had never been here before.”

Met Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "While we are keeping an open mind, given the occupation of the victim and our publicised concerns about the threat to employees of that organisation, the investigation is being led by the Counter Terrorism Command.

“I must stress that, at this early stage of our investigation, we do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this.

“While we continue to assess the circumstances of this incident, detectives are following a number of lines of enquiry and our priority at this time is to try and identify whoever was behind this attack and to arrest them.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, called the incident a “cowardly attack” and “deeply shocking”.