Nine-year-old girl in critical condition after London shooting

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A nine-year-old girl was in a critical condition on Thursday, police in London said, after a shooting the previous night at a restaurant in the east of the capital.

Three men were also shot in the attack, which took place around 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Wednesday when a gunman fired at diners from a motorbike.

Shootings are relatively rare in the UK, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world.

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The girl -- who police have described as an “innocent victim” -- was having dinner inside the restaurant with her family when the attack took place.

The three wounded men aged 26, 37 and 42 were sitting outside the restaurant in Hackney, in the east of the capital.

“We do not believe that the girl and the men injured were known to each other,” said James Conway, Detective Chief Superintendent of London’s Metropolitan police.

“As with any child, she was an innocent victim of the indiscriminate nature of gun crime.”

The condition of the men is stable, but one potentially faces life changing injuries, police said.

“We know Londoners will be shocked by what has taken place tonight”, added Matt Ward, a Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Met.

Gun ownership is only allowed subject to appropriate licenses, and possession of a firearm with intent to danger is an offence.

Between January 2023 and 2024, there were 199 shootings in London, according Met data.

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