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14 August 2016, 07:01
A shopkeeper was stabbed in the head twice with a machete suffering a fractured skull but managed to fight off two assailants during the third attempted armed robbery at his store in the space of year.
Tahir Ahmed was manning the till at his shop A&A Stores, on the corner of South Trinity Road and Cargill Terrace in Edinburgh, at around 5.20pm on Friday when the men confronted him and demanded money.
He tripped the silent alarm and tried to fight them off with a stool, before being stabbed in the head twice with a machete, family said.
It is the third time his store has been targeted in the space of year, son Zee told the Press Association.
Mr Ahmed, known locally as Joe, previously fought off a knifeman, and around a year ago he was confronted with a gun.
The 54-year-old, who locals described as "a pillar of the community'', is recovering in hospital after losing a lot of blood in the attack.
Zee Ahmed, 32, said: "One guy was at the back of the shop, a younger fella, and another guy came in the door with a machete.
"They went over to the fridge, grabbed a packet of sausages and said: 'Hand the money over.'
"My dad hit the silent alarm and picked up the stool and threw it at them.
"There was a struggle beside the sweet stand, which was knocked over, and he was stabbed in the head twice in the temple area. He's been left with a fractured skull.
"There was blood everywhere. I would put it down as attempted murder, rather than assault and robbery which is what the police are calling it.
"He was in A&E but he's been released to a ward, where he is now stable.
"He's really tired, really weak and he's lost a lot of blood.''
"We're waiting to get some CID footage back from the CID and we'll take it from there.
"They've got the weapon, which was left on the scene. They've got swaps, they've taken DNA and forensics have been done.
Mr Ahmed junior said it was not the first attack on the shop.
"About six months ago there was the same sort of situation.
"Someone came in with a knife but he managed to scare them off.
"About a year ago somebody came in with a gun.
"You just don't expect it in an area like this.''
He said there is no suggestion that the incidents are connected or that they are being repeatedly targeted by the same people.
"There's a block of flats nearby that are dealt with by housing associations, so there's a lot of different tenants coming in and out,'' he said.
Both suspects wore dark clothing and dark woollen beanie hats and one was wearing a dark body warmer.
The first is described as 20-25, of medium build, with a pale complexion and unshaven.
The second suspect is described as 35-40, slim, with a pale complexion, gaunt features and unshaven.
Detective Sergeant Todd Rutherford, of Corstorphine CID, said: "This was a cowardly attack, and the shopkeeper bravely fought off the attackers despite a shocking level of violence and the serious injuries he sustained.
"At the time of the incident, it is likely there would have been pedestrians and drivers in the Cargill Terrace area and we know the suspects were loitering near the shop before the incident took place.
"If anyone has seen these men before, during or after the attack, please contact us.''