London: Community groups held a peace rally Sunday in England`s second-largest city against the hit-and-run attack that claimed three lives during rioting in Birmingham.
Scores of people gathered in Winson Green, where three Muslim men — Haroon Jahan, 20, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31 — were mowed down and mortally wounded Wednesday when a car struck them at high speed. The trio had been with a larger group guarding a row of Pakistani-owned shops from looters.
The killings had threatened to ignite clashes between the area`s South Asian and black gangs, but appeals for calm and unity from Jahan`s father have so far been heeded.
The father, Tariq Jahan, joined other victims` family members in addressing the crowds Sunday in Winson Green from a stage bearing the banner "One City, One Voice for Peace."
Two males have been charged in the attack. Joshua Donald, 26, and a 17-year-old whose name was withheld because of his age were arraigned Sunday at Birmingham Magistrates Court on three counts each of murder. Both were remanded in custody after brief hearings.
The magistrates court is normally closed on Sundays, but like many other British courts has remained open around the clock to help process the hundreds of defendants charged in connection with the riots.
Thousands have been arrested across the country, with more than 800 charged in London alone.