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Refugee cab driver is stabbed to death


A minicab driver who fled war-torn Somalia for a new life in London has been stabbed to death.

Father-of-five Mohamed Ali Maslah was found by police collapsed and bleeding next to his cab in Islington in the early hours of Saturday.

Mohamed Ali Maslah with wife Sahra on their wedding day

Mr Maslah, 41, had been stabbed in the heart and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have launched a murder inquiry and have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Mr Maslah's widow, Sahra, 35, today paid tribute to her husband, speaking from the family home in Kentish Town. Mrs Maslah said: "My husband was working hard to provide for his family when he was taken from us in this way.

"He was a decent, loving husband and father who did not deserve to die like this. I am devastated."

She added: "Death is God-given and it happens to everyone. But this murder was a gruesome and barbaric act.

"The way that he was killed is the hardest thing to take. He was not a violent man and he loved his family."

Mr Maslah was found by police near his Vauxhall Zafira outside a block of flats in Sherborne Street shortly after 3am.

It is thought he had been involved in an argument with a man and a woman.

He fled to Britain from his warravaged homeland in 1989 and was granted asylum. His wife came to join him two years later.

The couple started a family in London and had five children, two daughters, Sowsan, aged 11, and one-year-old Samiya, and three sons, Ahmed, 10, Yahya, eight, and three-year-old Maslah.

Mr Maslah's uncle Sayid Ahmed Ali said the tragedy had taken a terrible toll on the children. He told how the older children refused to accept their father was not coming home. Mr Ali, 57, said: "The youngest two do not really understand but the eldest three are deeply affected.

"They keep saying 'I don't believe he is dead. He will come back'."

Mrs Maslah said her husband's death had left her and her family 'devastated'.

Mr Ali said that the family would not rest until his nephew's killers were in jail. He said: "My nephew came to this country to build a better life for his family but now he is dead. The law must take its course but we want the people that did this to face justice."

He added: "If someone is killed in this way those responsible must pay the price.

"We would ask anyone who can help the police to make this happen to do all they can." Detective Chief Inspector Mark Kandiah, of the Met's Serious Crime Directorate, is leading the investigation. A man, 22, and woman, 20, arrested in connection with the murder are still in custody.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8345 1585 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Faafin: | May 8, 2007

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