Tuesday June 13, 2006 8:13 PM
The young Muslim shot during a controversial police anti-terror raid choked back the tears as he relived the moment he feared he and his family were going to be killed.
His dramatic and emotional account of the shooting prompted Scotland Yard to apologise, for the first time, for the "hurt" caused by the raid.
Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman issued a statement after the testimony of Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, and his brother Abul Koyair, 20, left the Metropolitan Police facing a string of serious allegations.
Mr Kahar claimed he was kicked in the face by a police officer, slapped and dragged down a stairway by his foot. He also alleged that he was fired on without warning.
With his arm in a sling and his voice close to breaking, Mr Kahar described how he suddenly saw an "orange spark", was flung against the wall, fell to the floor and then looked down to see blood and a hole in his chest. He claimed the police did not identify themselves before opening fire, there was no struggle with the officers and that he thought it was an armed robbery.
Mr Kahar and Mr Koyair were held for a week under anti-terror legislation at a high-security police station following the dawn raid on their house in Lansdown Road, Forest Gate, east London, on Friday, June 2. Police had been hunting for a suspected chemical bomb, but officers found nothing at the property and they were released without charge.
Flanked by their solicitors, the brothers gave their first account of the raid and the shooting at a church in Forest Gate. Recalling the moment he feared for his life, Mr Kahar said: "I heard them bringing my mum out. She was screaming and crying. I just thought… 'one by one they're going to kill us'. I was just shouting 'I ain't done nothing'. I was just worrying about my brothers, everyone. At that time I thought I was going to die."
Mr Kahar insisted violence was not in his nature, that he worked hard to support his parents and that his only apparent crime in the eyes of the police had been to be Asian "with a long length beard". He said it was not until he was dragged outside and saw police vans that he realised it was a raid, and that the ordeal had "ruined his life".
The whole affair is certain to pile further pressure on the beleaguered Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. In a statement, Mr Hayman said his force could not comment further on the circumstances of the shooting while the Independent Police Complaints Commission's investigation was ongoing. However, he did apologise for the "hurt" caused to local residents – including those at the raided property.
"I am aware that in mounting this operation, we have, caused disruption and inconvenience to many residents in Newham and more importantly those that reside at 46 and 48 Lansdown Road," he said. "I apologise for the hurt that we may have caused."
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