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3 UAE women hurt in London hammer attack

LONDON, April 7, (AFP): Three women from the United Arab Emirates were in hospital on Monday after being savagely attacked in their luxury London hotel room by a man wielding a hammer, police said. The tourists, all in their 30s, sustained serious injuries to their heads and faces during the “unusually violent attack” at the four-star Cumberland Hotel early on Sunday morning. Three children aged between seven and 12 were asleep in an adjoining room at the time but they were unharmed.

One of the victims is in a critical but stable condition at a central London hospital, while the injuries suffered by the other two women are not  life-threatening, police said. Detectives are treating the attack as attempted murder and suggested theft might have been the main motive. They are looking for a lone white man who entered the women’s seventh-floor room, which was left unlocked because other family members were staying in other parts of the hotel. When one of the women woke up, he attacked her with a hammer before turning on the other two victims and then fleeing the building in bloodstained clothes.

The wealthy family had come to London to do some shopping and sightseeing, and the victims had visited some of the larger stores in the West End during the day on Saturday. “Early indications are that theft appears to be the motive,” said Detective Superintendent Carl Mehta of the Metropolitan Police. “We are yet to establish precisely what happened, but we are in close liaison with the family to establish what is missing from the room.” The 1,000-room hotel is located near Hyde Park and the Oxford Street shopping artery, and is owned by the Guoman group. A group spokesman told AFP: “Our thoughts are with the guests that have been affected by this, both immediately and our other guests, and we are cooperating with the police to make sure they have everything they need.” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Chalmers added: “This was an unusually violent attack on three women and I am very keen to speak with anyone who was in or around the hotel between 1:00am and 2:00am on Sunday morning.”

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