Man charged with murder after attacks on south Asian stores in London

LONDON, May 4, 2006 (AFP) – An unemployed man has been charged with murder after two shop workers in one of three allegedly racially motivated firebomb attacks on Asian-run convenience stores in London, police said Thursday. Robert Torto, 32, is accused of killing shopkeeper Khizar Hayat, who was originally from Pakistani Kashmir, and his employee, Afghan national Hamidi Hamidullah, in an attack on a shop in Kennington, south London, last Thursday.

He is also charged with three counts of arson with intent to endanger life in relation to the fire which claimed both men’s lives, and two separate attacks on two other stores in the locality owned by men of Sri Lankan origin. London’s Metropolitan Police said Torto would appear before magistrates later Thursday.