Three men have been arrested by police after an 11-year-old boy died in an alleged hit-and-run incident in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. Two men, aged 19 and 27, turned themselves in separately at Ashton Police Station and a third man, aged 23, was subsequently arrested.
The suspects were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving while one was also held on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs. The schoolboy had been praying with his father at the Hamza Mosque, located at the junction of Moss Street West and Mowbray Street.
He was hit by a Mercedes car at about 4.45pm GMT on 29 February after leaving the mosque with his family. The vehicle did not stop at the scene. A dark grey Mercedes A class has been seized and will be forensically examined, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The unnamed boy was taken to hospital, but died shortly after. According to witnesses, the car was "driving at speed".
Despite the arrests, police are still urging witnesses to come forward with any information. "I would like to thank the media for their coverage of this case. We are still at an early stage in this investigation and we still need people who were in the area of the collision to come forward if they believe they saw anything of value to the investigation," Sergeant Paul Higgins of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said.
"Witness accounts will be vitally important to this case, and though we do have people in custody I want to stress that anyone with information should come forward and contact the police," he added.
The Imam of the mosque, Shayful Islam said the child's father attended prayers this morning and spoke of the sadness felt by the wider community. "A lot of people were very sad and upset. Many people were here because of what happened last night," he said. "The boy's father was there and was very upset.
He added: "It's a difficult time. The whole community is so close and we will be supporting the family. The community will get together and offer a prayer for the boy. People are so sorry and so shocked and sad for the family and want to offer support. Your heart goes out to them."
Witnesses or anyone with information can call police on 0161 856 4741 or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.