A brave shopkeeper fended off a robber by throwing a pile of newspapers in his face after he threatened him with a knife and demanded money.

Muhammad Anwar had just opened his shop when a man wearing dark clothing entered and shouted “give me the money, give me the money”.

Terrified Muhammad, 68, said the thug was threatening him with a “big” knife in his right hand.

But the fast-thinking cashier grabbed a bundle of newspapers and launched them in the crook’s face, before jumping behind the shop counter for protection.

He pressed the store’s panic button and brandished a pole at the armed man, who was believed to be aged around 20.

Muhammad, from Edinburgh, said: “I hadn’t long come into the shop and I was busy with the magazines and the newspapers when the man came in.

“He had a big knife in his right hand, and started saying ‘give me the money, give me the money’.

“It’s the last thing I was expecting at that time of the morning.

“I threw some papers at him and then got behind the counter where I pressed the panic button and got a pole.

“I told him if he came any nearer I would hit him – I wasn’t going to give him any money.

“There were no physical injuries, but potentially it could have been very bad.

“He ran away not long after that, and there were people out in the street, so I do hope someone comes forward soon enough saying they saw something.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve been robbed, it’s happened a few times before.”

Muhammad, who works at the A1 store in Edinburgh, said better crime prevention measures were needed in the area.

He added: “There will be no CCTV evidence, we need some cameras in this street because this has happened to me two or three times before.”

The incident took place just before 7am on Saturday morning.

After the confrontation, the suspect was last seen running along Magdalene Drive and turning right on to Magdalene Loan, before he was lost from sight.

He has been described as white, approximately 20 years old, between 5ft 10in and 6ft tall, of slim build and speaking with a local accent.

At the time of the attack, he wore a dark or grey coloured hooded top, possibly a balaclava and either dark trousers or jeans.

Police are now carrying out inquiries and want to hear from anyone who can help identify the would-be raider.

Detective Sergeant Mark Lumsden said: “This was a very serious attack that caused a great deal of alarm to the victim.

“We are pursuing various lines of inquiry in an effort to trace the suspect as quickly as possible.

“The shop itself is situated in a built-up residential area and I’m hopeful that someone may have heard the suspect shouting or saw him in the area.

“Violent attacks are completely unacceptable and we will do everything we can to ensure this individual is swiftly arrested and brought before the courts.

“I would urge anyone who recognises his description to get in touch with police immediately on 101.

“Alternatively information can be passed anonymously and in confidence through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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