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German student attacked in Canterbury pictured for first time as family pray for him to wake from coma

By Phil Hayes

First pictures have emerged of a German student left fighting for his life after a brutal attack on a city's streets - as his family pray for him to wake up from a coma.

Daniel Ezzedine, who had just turned 17, was airlifted to hospital after he was attacked in Rose Lane, Whitefriars, in Canterbury on Thursday evening.

In his family's first interview since the shocking assault, his brother said doctors initially gave him a 30% chance of survival but his condition has since improved.

Daniel Ezzedin was the victim of a gang attack in Canterbury
Daniel Ezzedin was the victim of a gang attack in Canterbury

So far, seven people - including six teenagers - have been arrested following the assault, which prompted a "march against racism" on the city's streets last night.

No one has been charged.

Daniel, who is the youngest of five brothers, was in Canterbury on his graduation trip and his family believe his teachers should have taken better care to avoid the attack, they said in an interview with German news channel RTL.

His brother Bassam Ezzedin said: “To start with the doc told us his chance of survival would be 30%. That was heartbreaking for us.

"Today he has called to say the outlook is to an extent better and his condition is no longer life threatening.

"He’s in intensive care in hospital lying in an induced coma. We’ll have to wait and see.

"They’re trying to wake him up, to pull him out of it, but whether there’s long term damage, they don’t know.

Protestors take to the streets in Canterbury yesterday for a "march against racism" following the attack

“It was difficult in the first (few) days. My mum could not get to England because she didn’t have a visa.

"When you’re not by your child’s side when he could die, that’s the worst that can happen.

"We simply had nothing to go on, (in terms of) how he was doing.

“The most important thing is simply that someone is by his side. My two older brothers are there, my mum’s there. And I hope that he’ll soon get better.

Daniel Ezzedine was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury
Daniel Ezzedine was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury

"We can only hope and pray that there’s an end to it soon. And that he’s soon sitting here and we can laugh and enjoy ourselves again."

In a heartfelt post on Facebook, Bassam said: "I pray and ask Allah for mercy and that you will soon be on your legs again my little brother. You don't deserve the dead!"

He continued: "I love you. My heart burns I won't be able to live without you.

“Insallah [if Allah wills it] you'll be fine soon. Please make a prayer that my brother who doesn't deserve the bad is going well again and doesn't leave any damage.”

Bassam said Daniel's mother could only fly out to see her son three days after the attack, after being granted an emergency visa as a non-EU citizen.

He said the family had moved to Germany from Lebanon 30 years ago.

Daniel Ezzedine, left, pictured with his brother Bassam before he was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury
Daniel Ezzedine, left, pictured with his brother Bassam before he was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury

Also posting on Facebook, Mirna Nazal Berjaoui said: “Habibi Daniel, my little brother, my heart is bleeding.

“You are such a pure heart person, you don't deserve this. No one deserves this.

“Please wake up from your coma and stand up. You are a strong boy. You still have your life ahead of you. We all have so much to do with you.

“Daniel, we are waiting for you, we want you. The whole world is praying for you.

“Habibi Yes Daniel, there is only one way, the way of God, who leads you back to your family healthy.

“We thank Allah for his kindness and mercy.”

Daniel Ezzedine was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury
Daniel Ezzedine was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury
The scene after the attack in Whitefriars
The scene after the attack in Whitefriars

Habibi can be translated as “my love”.

The attack has shaken Canterbury - and has been condemned by MP Rosie Duffield, who branded it "a horrific and shameful stain on our usually very peaceful city".

Yesterday evening, a "march against racism" saw hundreds of people gather at Westgate Towers, before marching along the High Street to Whitefriars.

Along the way, they chanted slogans such as "say it loud, say it clear - don't give in to racist fear".

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