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Girl, nine, fighting for her life after Hackney restaurant shooting was ‘on half-term holiday visiting family’ before she was shot in the head by motorbike hitman amid ‘rivalry between Turkish and Kurdish gangs’

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A nine-year-old girl left fighting for her life following a shooting in Hackney was visiting family on a half-term holiday before she was shot in the head by a motorbike hitman amid a feud between Turkish and Kurdish gangs, it has been claimed.

The child, who was caught up in the suspected gangland shooting while having dinner with her family in east London last Wednesday, is said to be ‘improving’ and squeezed her father’s friend yesterday, according to a close family friend.

The girl is said to have moved to the UK around two years ago with her parents, both IT workers, and the family live together in Birmingham.

Family members attended a church service for her in the Kerala region of India yesterday – but the critical nature of her condition is being kept from her grandmother, with whom she shares a close relationship with.

The girl’s uncle told The Sun: ‘We told her it was a minor injury. We’re even keeping her away from local television channels, which are beaming up the news. She had an emotional connection with the girl and they conveyed it over the phone at least every alternate day.’ 

It’s understood the family who were visiting relatives for the half-term holiday had not planned to eat at Evin restaurant in Kinglsand High Street, Dalston, and only did so because the child suddenly felt hungry.

Police forensic officers at the scene of the shooting at Kingsland High Street, Hackney, east London,

Police forensic officers at the scene of the shooting at Kingsland High Street, Hackney, east London,

Shocking CCTV footage shows the moment a hitman on a stolen motorbike targets three men outside a Turkish restaurant

Shocking CCTV footage shows the moment a hitman on a stolen motorbike targets three men outside a Turkish restaurant 

The nine-year-old girl is fighting for her life. Pictured are forensic officers at the scene on Thursday

The nine-year-old girl is fighting for her life. Pictured are forensic officers at the scene on Thursday

The girl was shot at the Turkish restaurant just after 9pm. The shooter on a Ducati Monster motorbike pulled up and began firing at three men sitting outside, believed to be his targets.

The men of Turkish origin, aged 37, 42 and 44, were injured and the girl was caught in the hail of bullets, with one said to have lodged in her head.

The Sunday Times reports that Turkish residents nearby said most people were too scared to speak out because the area has become overrun with gangs. 

Many claimed that the shooting was part of a rivalry between a Turkish and a Kurdish gang, one from Hackney called the ‘Bombers’ and another called the ‘Tottenham Turks’.

The restaurant owner, Gazi Degirmenci, told the newspaper that the girl had been ‘playing with her family’, adding: ‘She was really active, really joyful.’

He continued: ‘[Other customers] were trying to stop the bleeding and make them calm. Her parents were shouting, they were crying.’

Mr Degirmenci denied that his business was the target amid local speculation, claiming: ‘This was something between two gangs. The problem is not with our community or our business. The main problem is with the two gang groups.’

One of the men injured has been discharged from hospital and the other two are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Pictured: Forensic officers gather evidence at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Forensic officers gather evidence at the scene in Dalston, east London

The girl was shot at Evin restaurant in Kingsland High Street just after 9pm on May 29

The girl was shot at Evin restaurant in Kingsland High Street just after 9pm on May 29 

Pictured: Emergency services at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Emergency services at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Police guard the cordon at the scene in Dalston, east London

Pictured: Police guard the cordon at the scene in Dalston, east London

The girl has been on a ventilator since Wednesday. Doctors have performed one operation but were unable to remove the bullet, the family friend said

The girl has been on a ventilator since Wednesday. Doctors have performed one operation but were unable to remove the bullet, the family friend said

The girl has been on a ventilator since Wednesday. Doctors have performed one operation but were unable to remove the bullet, the family friend said. 

But, he added, on Friday doctors began reducing her sedation to see how she responded and yesterday, her family were delighted when she squeezed her father’s hand.

The friend said: ‘She is on a ventilator but she is responding to some things, which is good. When they [her parents] say something, she responds, like moving her finger.

‘Her father spoke with her this morning and she responded, she squeezed his hand, she pressed it.’ He said doctors will remove the bullet in another operation but that may be some days away.

The friend, who speaks regularly with the girl’s father on the phone, said her parents were a lot more optimistic. He said: ‘Doctors are saying it will be good.’

The motorbike, with red wheels and the registration DP21 OXY, was stolen three years ago from a property in Wembley, north London.

Police have appealed to London’s Turkish and Kurdish communities for information over the attack.

MailOnline has contacted the Met Police for comment. 



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