Refugee support groups have expressed shock and sadness at the killing of a 22 year-old asylum seeker on a Glasgow council estate yesterday. The young man, who had only been in the UK for two weeks, was approached by two men and fatally stabbed in an unprovoked attack last night as he walked home with a friend through the Sighthill estate. More than 1,500 refugees have been housed in Sighthill recently. The estate is one of the most run-down in Glasgow with a high percentage of unemployed residents. In the past 14 months, 70 racist attacks have been reported there. Louise Zanre, from the Jesuit Refugee Services, told ICN: "This death is a tragedy. It is unfortunate that a young man who came to the UK in search of safety and refuge found neither. Unfortunately, racially motivated attacks are inevitable in the dispersal system as it is currently being operated. There is insufficient preparation of local communities before the arrival of groups of people from other cultures. This is compounded by the vilification of asylum seekers in the media and by the press. Attacks such as these are also a consequence of a perception that the local communities' own needs are not being met, but are taking second place to those of the newcomers." She added that many people living on the Sighthill estate were ex-miners and other industrial workers who had not been in employment since the 1980s. John Joseet from the Catholic Bishops' Conference Committee for Migrants and Asylum Seekers said: "This was appalling news. My initial response is that we warned the government this would happen a long time ago. If there is no programme of informing communities who the refugees are and why they are here this is going to happen. We hope the authorities work hard to apprehend the killers and trust that David Blunkett studies the situation carefully. We fear though, that the situation is only going to get worse."
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