Croydon, south of London. (File photo)
Croydon, south of London. (File photo)

Authorities in the UK have arrested eight people after an attack on Friday on a teenage asylum seeker in south London left him in critical condition.

Police on Sunday arrested nine over the attack, but later released one without charge.

Police said eight youths approached the 17-year-old Kurdish-Iranian teen and beat him as he was waiting with his two friends at the bus station in the London Borough of Croydon.

Residents said they saw far more people involved in the attack and saw many more watching as the teen was beaten.

His two friends managed to escape from the gang with minor injuries.

Police said they were treating the attack as a hate crime.

Britain has seen a surge in xenophobia following the country's vote to leave the European Union last year.

However, Friday's attack has prompted shock in the country which is a multi-ethnic society.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also underlined London's diversity in his statement on Sunday, adding that "hate crime has no place in London."

"London is an amazingly diverse city. We don't just accept our differences, but we embrace and celebrate them," Khan said.

"Our communities will not be divided by those who seek to sow hate. And we will always take a zero tolerance approach to hate crimes of any type."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies