A CHICKEN shop chain has come under attack in suspected religious hatred fueled attacks from members of the Tamil community.

During the last week, Sam's Chicken Shops in Wembley Park, Willesden, Kingsbury, and Cricklewood have been attacked by masked men hurling bricks at the front windows.

Sam Chandrasinghe, who owns the popular takeaway chain, says his staff are frightened to leave the stores at night.

He said: “My staff are really scared, especially at night time for the girls.

“Some people, all wearing masks, have come to break the glass and then run away very quickly.

“At the moment we haven't closed the shops, but we are being targeted because of our nationality.”

Mr Chandrasinghe is Sinhalese by birth, and he believes members of the Tamil community are attacking his businesses because of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

He said: “It is happening because we are Sinhalese and they say because we are doing business in the UK, that we are supporting the Sri Lankan government.

“I believe it is Tamil people who are doing this.”

The attacks on the chicken shops comes after a Sinhalese Buddhist temple in Kingsbury was vandalised twice in what police are calling “faith hate crimes”.

A gang of men attacked one of the members of the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Temple with a copper bar, then they returned later in the night to throw bricks at the windows.

Brent Police has increased patrols in the area of the temple, in Kingsbury Road, and both Harrow and Brent Police have put their officers on high alert for signs of tension between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities.