POLICE have said a 16-year-old boy was murdered after being attacked by a group of youths armed with knives and a baseball bat.

Shakilus Townsend, known as Shaki to his family, was attacked at around 1.45pm yesterday (July 3) in Thornton Heath.

Three boys and one girl approached him as he walked through the area.

The three boys attacked Shakilus, of Tanners Hill, Deptford, stabbing him and hitting him around the head with a baseball bat.

Police describe the boys as black, aged in their mid-teens, wearing hooded tops with the hoods up and bandannas over the lower half of their faces.

The girl is described as black, aged in her mid-teens and wearing a floral dress.

Police say from their actions after the attack, the teenagers seemed unfamiliar with the area, appearing to run in various directions looking for a way to escape.

Police and ambulance staff were called to the scene and found Shakilus suffering from a stab wound in a doorway to a block of flats.

He died just after midnight.

A post-mortem examination is being conducted at Croydon Coroner's Court and an inquest will open in due course.

Two knives have been recovered from the scene.

A murder investigation is under way, with a Homicide and Serious Crime Command incident room being set up under Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons.

Speaking this afternoon, Mr Lyons said: "This is another senseless incident in which a young life has been taken away by a knife.

"Given that this happened outside a block of flats in broad daylight, I am certain there are people who have witnessed this murder.

"I would urge those people to come forward and speak to the police, to help us bring justice to Shakilus's family and friends.

"I would reassure those witnesses that if you come forward you will be dealt with professionally and in confidence by officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

"We have a 92 per cent detection rate for knife murders. If you come forward, your evidence will help take dangerous individuals out of your community and help deliver justice to the community."

If you have any information call the incident room on 020 8721 4205 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.