Six teenagers have been stabbed within 90 minutes in another night of violence on London’s streets.
A 13-year-old boy was among the victims of four separate knife attacks, which took place as protesters gathered elsewhere in the capital to demand action to prevent young people dying.
Earlier, Tottenham MP David Lammy said violence in London was the “worst I’ve ever seen it” and warned there was “absolutely no sign” of an end to the bloodshed following a spate of murders as drugs drive turf wars between gangs.
Crowds gathered at Hackney Central station in east London on Thursday, close to where 18-year-old Israel Ogunsola was stabbed to death the previous night.
But as demonstrators and community leaders called for peace, violence was breaking out again on the capital’s streets.
A 13-year-old boy was taken to hospital with serious injuries after being stabbed near Little Ilford Park, Newham. Three other boys were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Minutes later a man in his late teens was taken to hospital following a stabbing in Ealing Broadway, west London. The Metropolitan Police said it was awaiting an update on his condition.
An hour earlier, three boys were taken to hospital following a knife attack in Mile End, east London.
Two were in a serious condition, Tower Hamlets police said. The third was treated for minor injuries before being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
The night of violence had begun at 5.30pm, when a 15-year-old boy was seriously injured in a stabbing in East India Docks. His condition was stable and his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.
No arrests have been in connection to the attacks in Ealing Broadway or East India Docks.
The violence on Thursday evening came after a man in his twenties was injured in a stabbing in Walthamstow, north-east London, at around 12.50pm.
The flurry of knife attacks followed the killings of three teenagers in the capital in the first four days of this month.
Tanesha Melbourne, 17, was shot dead in a drive-by attack in Tottenham, north London, on 2 April. Minutes later, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor died in a gun attack three miles away in Walthamstow.
No arrests have been made in connection to either murder.
Two 17-year-old boys have been held on suspicion of killing 18-year-old Mr Ogunsola.
At the protest in Hackney, demonstrators of various ages huddled around the station entrance before linking hands in a wide circle nearby in solidarity for those killed.
Protest organisers Guiding A New Generation – commonly known as GANG – invited people to share their stories and plead for an end to the killings.
One speaker, who addressed the crowd under the name Scripture, said he had seen people being killed at close hand.
“It’s not a pretty sight,” he said. “You know what, it’s not a computer game. You’re not gonna come back, bruv.
“These youths who are doing damage to each other are not coming back, and they’re not learning their lesson neither.”
Hackney Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Pauline Pearce told the rally young people felt “disenfranchised” by their environments.
She said: “A lot of the children feel disenfranchised, they don’t feel they belong, they haven’t really got a meaning – they don’t feel that they have that connection to society, so a lot of things go wrong for them and sadly this is the sort of retaliation that comes.”
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Lammy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme children as young as 11 were being recruited by drugs gangs as foot soldiers in turf wars.
The Labour former minister said: “I’ve been an MP now for 18 years and I’m afraid what we’re seeing today is the worst I’ve ever seen it.
“I’ve had four deaths in the London Borough of Haringey since January, I’ve had as many knife attacks as there have been weeks in the year.
“There are parents, friends, families, schools, traumatised and grieving, and there is absolutely no sign, I’ve got to tell you at the moment, of reduction in the violence.”
He called on the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the government to work together to reduce violence.
Mr Khan said the 55 killings in the capital since the start of this year were “heartbreaking” and criticised the government for cuts to the policing budget.
“Of course it concerns me, I think one murder is one too many,” he said.
“Since 2014 we have seen an increase in violent crime in London and across the country.
“Already in the last seven years we have lost £700 million from the policing budget. Over the next three years the government plans to cut another £300 million. That’s a billion pounds worth of cuts.
“So my message to the Government is please work with us to solve this national problem.”