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UK police charge teenager after London acid attacks

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 15/07/2017
Resham Khan was recently attacked in east London [Resham Khan/change.org] © Provided by Al Jazeera Resham Khan was recently attacked in east London [Resham Khan/change.org]

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with 15 offences following five related acid attacks in London on Thursday, British police said.

The charges include grievous bodily harm, possession of an item to discharge a noxious substance, and robbery.

The boy is due to appear before Stratford Youth Court on Monday, London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Saturday.

On Friday, British police arrested two teenagers after five acid attacks against moped riders in less than 90 minutes across east London on Thursday left several people with facial burns, including one with horrific injuries.

Police said the investigation was ongoing. 

The assaults come just days after a separate incident in which a man appeared in court accused of throwing acid at an aspiring model and her cousin.

Survivors of acid attacks in the UK have raised a callfor tougher laws against perpetrators and demanded stricter measures for the purchasing of corrosive substances after a spate of assaults in recent weeks. 

Resham Khan, who was recently attacked in east London, launched a petition as she recovers from serious burns from her hospital bed.

"An attack like this could happen to anyone," said Khan's change.org petition, which is titled to "prohibit the purchase of acid to those without a licence". "It is about time that the law changes for the purchase of corrosive substances - right now you can buy it easily from any hardware store if you are 18 and over.

"Corrosive acids like sulphuric acid are very lethal and life damaging substances. You should only be allowed to purchase corrosive substances with a licence to buy. The person purchasing should go through checks so their details are held on a database or hold a licence."

London's Metropolitan Police say the number of reported attacks in the capital rose from 261 in 2015 to 454 in 2016, a rise of 74 percent, according to British media.

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