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‘Racist motive’ suspected in dog attack

AN IMMIGRANT father told how a man allegedly deliberately set three dogs on him, his wife and 10-year-old son as they walked home from a park in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Mahmud Tahirov, 45, is convinced the man – who he says was white – commanded his dogs to savage him, his wife Tarana, 40, and son Araz, then simply stood and watched while the dogs attacked and made no attempt to call them off.

Mr Tahirov, of Cross Green, Leeds, said: "I saw a white man with three dogs, two black and one beige colour. I thought that because the owner was with the dogs there was no danger and suddenly we heard him saying to his dogs ‘Go go, go.’ It was very dangerous. One bit my child's leg and both me and my wife tried to protect our child. The owner stood with crossed arms and watched. I think the man must hate refugees."

Mr Tahirov, who is studying English, came to Britain from Turkmenistan, on the northern border of Afghanistan, in September 2003 seeking asylum. In May this year he was granted full immigration status and his family joined him in the UK.

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed officers were investigating the incident but could not say whether the attack was racially motivated as detectives still had to establish a motive.

Mr Tahirov had taken his family for a walk in a park and they were only minutes away from their home in St Hilda's Grove, Cross Green, when the attack happened in Glencoe View at 7pm on Thursday, August 18th.

The man had a large black dog, a small black dog and a beige-coloured dog, none of them on leads. Initially, the family did not feel concerned, but then the man appeared to order his dogs to attack the family.

Mr Tahirov and his wife tried to prevent the dogs from savaging Araz, but were unable to stop him from being viciously bitten on both legs. Mr Tahirov claimed the man stood nearby and made no attempt to stop the attack, which lasted several minutes.

Mr Tahirov suffered five deep bites, on his lower leg, ankle, buttocks and both sides of his abdomen. His wife was bitten on her hands and arms, buttock and leg and felled by the dogs.

The family, members of which had blood all over their clothing, said the man eventually called his dogs and walked away.

The couple and their son were treated at St James's Hospital in the city and police were alerted.
Earlier this week Mr Tahirov said he was now scared to go outside his home and was hoping to move house.

Police want anyone who may have seen the man and his dogs or witnessed the attack to call them on 0113 241 3659 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.