Three UAE women hurt in hammer attack at luxury London hotel

LONDON (AFP) - Three women from the United Arab Emirates were in hospital on Monday after being savagely attacked in their room at a luxury London hotel by a man wielding a hammer, the police said.

The women, all in their 30s, sustained serious injuries to their heads and faces during the "unusually violent attack" at the four-star Cumberland Hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Three children were sleeping in an adjoining room at the time but they were unharmed.

One of the victims is in a critical but stable condition at a central London hospital, while the injuries suffered by the other two women are not life-threatening, the police said.

Detectives are treating the attack as attempted murder, although they said they had an open mind as to the motive.

Officers were called at 1.50am on Sunday to the hotel near Hyde Park following reports of an assault, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"At this stage, it is believed that a single male suspect entered a guest bedroom on the seventh floor of the building, where three women and three children were sleeping in adjoining rooms," it said.

"Detectives believe that the suspect was disturbed when some of the occupants of the room woke up, and the three women were subsequently assaulted with a hammer which was later recovered at the scene."

The 1,000-room hotel, which is owned by the Guoman group, was not immediately available for comment.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Chalmers said: "This was an unusually violent attack on three women and I am very keen to speak with anyone who was in or around the hotel between 1am and 2am on Sunday morning."