A refugee may have been knifed to death by two men ‘for his £60,000 watch’, a friend claimed yesterday.
Zahir Visiter, 24, was stabbed near his home on Thursday evening after waving off his parents and two younger brothers as they left the airport for a holiday.
His attackers reportedly ran half a mile to the Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park, where they calmly switched clothes and mingled with worshippers before fleeing, the Mail reported.
Armed police sealed off the mosque following the attack around 6.15pm and were seen searching stairwells and the surrounding area for the killers.
According to witnesses, Mr Visiter originally from the Russian republic of Chechnya, had been attacked by a nearby canal before staggering back to his estate.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics, who performed CPR on Mr Visiter for half an hour, he was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.
A friend said the aspiring music producer had been wearing an expensive watch which had been hanging from his wrist after the attack, ‘as if someone had tried to prise it free’.
The friend said he was worried beforehand about being attacked, saying: ‘He phoned me two hours before the attack and expressed that he was in trouble.
‘He’d had an argument with someone which might have been about a girl.
‘He also had a watch on, which I believe was worth £60,000, which was hanging off his wrist as if they had tried to pull it off but had given up.
‘What he was doing with a watch like this I don’t know.
‘But everyone loved him round here, he was full of life.’
Following the attack, witnesses say they saw two young men in hoodies calmly walk away from the estate, near Lord’s cricket ground.
They are then said to have run into the nearby mosque, where they changed their clothes and mingled with unsuspecting worshippers.
A security guard at the complex said CCTV footage showed two men running into the building with a rucksack.
He said they changed from hoodies into shirts and trousers, before washing their hands and feet among worshippers.
Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan, director- general of the Islamic Cultural Centre London, said: ‘There were up to 100 to 150 people in the mosque when they came and people were preparing to pray.
‘But we don’t know who they are and do not believe they have anything to do with the mosque.
Police say all lines of inquiry are open with regards to a motive for the attack.
A Metropolitan Police statement said: ‘A man – believed to be aged in his early 20s – was found suffering from stab injuries.
‘He was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital, where he sadly died.
‘A post-mortem examination and formal identification will be arranged in due course.
‘Enquiries continue to trace the suspects, who fled the scene. There have been no arrests.’