- Associated Press - Thursday, April 5, 2018

LONDON (AP) — Friends say Israel Ogunsola was a bubbly young man with a knack for making people laugh.

This week the 18-year-old became London’s 53rd murder victim of 2018. The British capital is being shaken by a spike in deadly violence, much of it involving young people with knives caught up in gang feuds.

If the trend continues, London will far surpass the 130 murders it saw in 2017 and reach a number not seen since the early 2000s.

PHOTOS: London struggles to fight crime spike as 2018 murders soar

Police and community workers say London’s surge in violence is partly driven by battles over control of the illegal drug trade and a “postcode war” between street gangs.

The crime wave has multiple causes, from cuts in police budgets to social media posts that can incite violence.

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