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'Horrific attack' on grandmother

The elderly mother and grandmother of two men cleared of murdering an Asian man more than 13 years ago has been seriously injured in a "horrific attack" in her own home.

The 76-year-old is being treated for two broken arms, serious head injuries and facial lacerations after she was attacked by four men who forced their way into her home in Overtown, in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

She is understood to be the mother and grandmother to two men cleared of murdering Surjit Singh Chhokar in 1998. The waiter was stabbed to death outside the home he shared with his girlfriend in Overtown, Lanarkshire.

The murder, which has been dubbed "Scotland's Stephen Lawrence", sparked controversy after the failure of authorities to secure a conviction.

Three men, two of whom were uncle and nephew, were cleared of the killing following trials in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The woman was disturbed in her home in Overdale Place, Overtown, at 5.20am on Thursday. The men attacked her in her hallway, before pursuing her onto the street. They ran off when her scream alerted neighbours.

Police have said the break-in was not a robbery, and they are trying to establish why the woman was targeted.

Detective Inspector John Lamb of Strathclyde Police said: "I am almost speechless at the level of violence directed at an innocent elderly lady. It beggars belief that anyone could subject a woman, particularly an elderly one, to such a mindless horrendous attack."

The suspects are described as white men. They were either wearing hooded tops or had their faces hidden with scarves. One was described as particularly heavy built. All were wearing light-coloured trainers.

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