BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) _ A black man was verbally abused and then set on fire Monday, an attack police said was racially motivated.

The 24-year-old man, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was listed in stable condition at Selly Oak Hospital with burns to his face and right arm.

``There appears to be no motive for the attack apart from the fact it was racially motivated,'' said Detective Chief Inspector Neil James of the West Midland Police. ``It was a particularly vicious attack aggravated by the fact that the victim was abused verbally prior to being set alight.''

Three white men were being sought for questioning, including one described as a skinhead.

Authorities said the man was walking his girlfriend home in the early hours when he was attacked.

Forensic tests were being carried out to establish the liquid sprayed in the man's face before he was set on fire.

Police had not yet questioned the victim, who remained sedated.