A foreign student stabbed to death in London while returning home from a restaurant with a friend was “entirely blameless”, police said.
The Kings College politics and economics student, who was an Omani national living in London, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 12.40am, the Met Police said.
A post-mortem examination at Westminster Mortuary gave his cause of death as a stab wound.
His 20-year-old friend was also injured in the attack and taken to hospital for treatment. He has since been discharged, police said.
Speaking to Mail Online, a friend of the victim said: “One of the thieves tried to steal Mohammad’s expensive watch – I think a Rolex – but he fought back.
“There was a struggle and he was stabbed. His friend tried to help and was also stabbed.
“This is a truly awful, shocking crime to happen in the middle of London in front of such a famous department store known all around the world.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge, who is leading the investigation, said: “Mohammed and his friend were returning home from a restaurant when they were approached and assaulted by two male suspects on Basil Street at the junction of Pavilion Road.
“Following the attack, the suspects fled on foot along Basil Street in the direction of Sloane Street.
“I would appeal to anyone who saw two males running along that route, or to drivers who were in Sloane Street around midnight and may have captured any part of this incident on dash-cam footage, to get in contact with my team immediately.
“The victim and his friend were entirely blameless, simply enjoying a meal out together. It does appear that the motive for this cowardly attack was robbery.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Met Police incident room on 020 8358 0300 or call 101. People can also tweet MetCC.
Alternatively, people can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Additional reporting by Press Association