A PENSIONER set on fire in a horrific attack as he walked home from a mosque has been photographed.
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was walking along Shenstone Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, when he was confronted by the thug on Monday night.
A few minutes later, shocking CCTV footage showed Mr Rayaz engulfed in flames and cried out in agony for help a few yards from his house.
He was rushed to the hospital because his son allegedly shouted: “My dad is on fire.”
Detectives are questioning a man, believed to be a Sudanese national in his 30s, on suspicion of attempted murder.
A father-of-two is stable but undergoing a skin graft and unable to open his eyes after suffering “severe burns”, his family said today.
Speaking on behalf of the family, lawyer and friend Shabron Hussain said he rushed to the scene after Mr Rayaz’s terrified son called him.
He said: “His son called me and said, ‘My dad’s on fire’, so I was one of the first to come.”
Speaking about the father’s condition, the lawyer added: “He is undergoing a skin transplant. He has severe burns on his face, hands and chest.
“He can’t open his eyes.
“The family are devastated and grieving. They are still trying to come to terms with what happened.”
Sources said MailOnline as the suspect approached Mr. Rayaz and asked him, “Do you speak Arabic?” to which the pensioner replied, “I only speak Punjabi.”
A few seconds later it was set on fire.
He was arrested after he was spotted at the Dudley Road Mosque on Tuesday afternoon.
“A VERY BAD WAY”
Mr Rayaz’s nephew Hamza Rayaz, 27, said the family visited the burn victim in hospital but “he looks very bad”.
He added: “He can’t speak much and can’t see at all.
“He’s wrapped in lots of bandages and we’re just praying that he recovers and that there are no long-term effects from this horrific attack.
“We don’t want to reveal the name of the hospital where he is being treated, but my uncle is in intensive care and being looked after.”
Counter-terrorism officers are now investigating a possible link between the attack in Birmingham and an identical incident in Ealing last month.
In a statement released today, West Midlands Police said: “The suspect was spotted by officers investigating in the area yesterday and has been arrested.
“At this stage, we cannot speculate about the motives of the attack.
“This is a live investigation and our main goal is to make sure your communities are safe and that we get justice for the victim.”
Police are appealing for anyone with CCTV, doorbell or video footage of the incident to submit it directly via this link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/20HQ23C02-PO1.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.