LONDON (Reuters) - A Malaysian student whose videotaped mugging became one of the defining images of the London riots said Thursday he felt sorry for his attackers and would finish his studies in Britain.
Bleeding heavily from his mouth and looking stunned, Asyraf Haziq Rosli was helped to his feet by a passer-by who then rifled through his backpack along with several other people.
The mugging in east London was filmed by an onlooker and was shown around the world on television. It has been watched more than three million times on YouTube.
"I feel sorry for them," the 20-year-old from Kuala Lumpur told a news conference at the Malaysian High Commission in London. "It was really sad, for among them were children, boys in primary school. It was quite shocking."
He suffered a broken jaw and lost some teeth in the attack and needed an operation.
Police said up to 100 youths had charged at the student and a friend as they pushed their bikes to a friend's house on Monday. He was assaulted and left bleeding on the ground. The video footage of the mugging began moments later.
British Prime Minister David Cameron referred to the student's plight in a speech outside his Downing Street office, calling it a "disgusting sight" that highlighted how things were "badly wrong in our society."
The student, who is being cared for by the Malaysian High Commission, said he will stay in London to continue his studies, despite being asked to return home by his mother.
"I spoke to her yesterday, she was really worried. She wants me to go back home -- I refused," he said.
London police said they had arrested a man in his 20s on suspicion of robbery in connection with the incident.
Reporting by Peter Griffiths