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Man charged on murder of worshipper

A 25-year-old Ukrainian man has been charged with the terror-related murder of an 82-year-old grandfather as he walked home from a mosque.

West Midlands Police said they have charged Pavlo Lapshyn, a postgraduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, with the killing of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham in April.

He will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Lapshyn was initially arrested last week by officers carrying out a counter-terrorism investigation into three separate explosions near mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton, and is still being questioned in connection with that inquiry.

The student, in the UK on a sponsored work placement at a software firm based in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, was then arrested on suspicion of Mr Saleem's murder on July 20.

The pensioner was fatally stabbed just yards from his house as he walked home alone after worship, on April 29, prompting an outpouring of grief from the community where he lived.

The police said they did not believe there was any "ongoing threat from this case" but that officers were working with the Ukrainian authorities to look into Lapshyn's past.

Investigators from the West Midlands counter terrorism unit are flying to the country in the next few days to continue their inquiries.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, of West Midlands Police, said: "We are still working hard to uncover all the facts and urge anyone who thinks they have information that may assist us to call 101.

"We understand that these incidents have caused a great deal of anxiety and distress within local communities and I want to thank them for the way they have dealt with the developments and the assistance they have given my officers. For the family who lost a beloved grandfather, it has been a particularly difficult time and we will continue to support them."


From Belfast Telegraph