A teenager knifed to death at the weekend may have been the victim of a race-hate murder, pals said yesterday.
Nilanthan Murddi, 17, was stabbed in the neck when a white man leaped from a cab and hurled abuse, then returned later to stab him.
Pals said the victim was setting up a party at a restaurant.
One, Amir Butt, 23, claimed: "He was in the car park when a cab pulled up and a drunk guy in the back was shouting, 'You f*****g Paki'.
"Our friends said, 'We don't want any problems. Just go away'."
Amir said the cab left but an hour later the man returned to the scene in Croydon, South London, in the early hours of Saturday and attacked Nilanthan. Cousin Ramya Muraliidaran, 20, told of his fears for violent Britain as he said: "We are scared of gun and knife crime and need to put a stop to it."
Nilanthan is the 23rd London teenager killed this year. A man, 31, was held but freed on bail.
Police said: "We need to trace the cab driver as he may hold the key to the identity of the suspect."
Meanwhile, Conor Black, 16, was knifed to death on a Manchester street early Saturday.
He died on his way to hospital in an ambulance.
Two knives were found at the scene.
Last night, a 16-year-old boy was arrested over the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Manchester, police said.