The police have arrested three men, ages 25, 31 and 32, in the killing of a 32-year-old man who succumbed to head injuries following an attack Sunday morning. The trio, who have been arrested on suspicion of murder, will remain in custody at a south London police station.

The victim, Paul Gunner, who was celebrating his birthday outside a kebab shop in Bourne Road, Bexley, at 1 a.m., was approached by three men. He was punched and pushed to the ground. Later, the victim was taken to the hospital, but pronounced dead.

The victim's next of kin have been informed and formal identification has taken place. A post-mortem will be scheduled in due course, authorities said.

The police suspect the same three "white males" attacked and assaulted another man 10 minutes earlier at the same place. That unindentified victim apparently left the scene though injured.

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, who is investigating the case, said: "Paul Gunner lost his life on a night which should have been a celebration for him and his family. I would appeal for anyone who witnessed this assault, or the altercation that occurred shortly before, to contact police. I am particularly keen to speak to the victim of the first assault as he may hold vital details which could help us identify the suspects."

"These are two, apparently, unprovoked assaults. Those who carried out these assaults may not be aware of the tragic consequences of their actions. I would urge them, or anyone who knows their identity, to come forward and do the right thing," she said in a statement.

Anyone with information may contact the Incident Room on 0208 721 4868 or to contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.