‘You don’t belong here’: Horrific ambush
ABDULLAH Qaiser was minding his own business as he drove through an area of Newcastle he thought was perfectly safe on Saturday night.
But, the 21-year-old University of Newcastle student - who was on his way to finish an assignment with a friend at the library - was taken by surprise when a group of eight men and one woman walked out into the middle of the road. They blocked his way and forced him to stop.
At first, he thought it was some sort of student prank as the large group began to surround his car - but it quickly turned nasty.
The Pakistani student says he was bashed so severely with a knuckleduster that it has left him shaken and needing surgery.
He told theNewcastle Herald a woman reached in through his passenger door and tried to grab his mobile phone as a man pulled open the driver's side door and yelled: "Go back to your f***ing country, you don't belong here."
"I panicked. I didn't know what to do. The blood was flowing out of my nose," he told the newspaper.
"I had no option but to stop my car [when he saw the group on the road]. I was just thinking they were students just making fun."
Leaving the young student in a bloody mess, the group fled the scene after the sickening attack and made off with the mobile phone.
Mr Qaiser said he blacked out briefly but then drove to the university gym where staff gave him first aid and called police, campus security and an ambulance. He was left with a broken nose and needing surgery.
His friend Jabrim Khan said he had to take the injured student to John Hunter Hospital because his face was "smashed up and full of blood".
"He's terrified. He's been in Australia from Pakistan studying engineering for one-and-a-half years and was attacked by people he has never seen before," Mr Khan told The Daily Telegraph.
"He didn't know what a knuckleduster was until this happened.
"They told him to go to back to his country. He's terrified and doesn't have family here."
University officials have handed over CCTV footage of the attack to police.
"We promote a culture of respect and tolerance and our priority is making sure the student is okay and is supported while the police conduct their investigation," a university spokeswoman said.
"In addition to increasing security patrols, we will continue to invest in security infrastructure, such as our expansion of CCTV and emergency help points across campus.
"If anyone on our campuses feels unsafe or needs assistance, they should contact Security Services immediately."
Despite the reported racial abuse, police said they did not believe the attack was racially motivated.
Officers want to speak with a man and woman in relation to the attack - which happened about 8.30pm on Saturday on the campus's Ring Road, Callaghan.
Both are described as being of caucasian appearance, aged between 20 and 25.
The man had a muscular build and short blond hair, while the woman had a slim build and long blond-brown hair in a ponytail.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.