The killings occurred at rush hour on Friday evening in front of hundreds of people in a busy shopping district in the central English city of Birmingham. Attempts to revive the two men, who were in their 30s, failed and both were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Big Issue, which helps homeless people earn income by employing them to sell its magazines on the street, said Saturday that both victims were vendors of the publication. Editor John Bird said he was "struggling to make any sense" of the attack.
Police have arrested a 23-year-old man for questioning.
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