A mosque in Tooting has urged worshippers to avoid going out alone to prayers after two allegedly racist attacks outside mosques during Ramadan.

Following emergency talks between some mosques in the area last night, a local mosque leader advised worshippers to walk to and from prayer sessions in groups to avoid becoming isolated.

Aniz Jussab, secretary of Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre, said: "People are very concerned. In both cases the main target has been a Muslims.

nobody knows why at the moment."

He added: “We have informed the congregation to be a bit more vigilant and careful and to be in groups rather than to be isolated and alone.

"We believe the targets are middle aged and elderly people, and we feel they are more vulnerable.

"We are advising them to be in groups with youngsters so they cannot be victimised."

Mr Jussab has seen numbers of worshippers dwindle at his Upper Tooting Road mosque since the two recent attacks and parents were even reluctant to bring their children out to pray, he said.

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends next week, Muslims are obliged to pray as late as 10.30pm at night after breaking their fast.

It has meant large numbers of Muslim families walking to and from mosques late at night in the last few weeks.

Police are stepping up patrols in the area and will meet Muslim leaders later today to discuss security for worshippers.

Officers are investigating the murder of Ekram Haque last Monday in Church Lane and a second attack in Gatton Road on Tuesday.

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Anyone with information on the attack should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Four teenagers appeared in youth court on Tuesday. A 15-year-old, and two 14-year-olds were charged with the murder of Mr Haque and two counts of ABH. The fourth boy, aged 12 was charged with conspiracy to commit GBH and two counts of assault.