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Friends grieve for fire victims

The friends of two teenage girls killed in a fire have gathered at their school to grieve.

Hanin Kua, 14, and her sister Basma, 13, were killed when the blaze swept through their home in Neasden, north-west London, in the early hours of Saturday. Their mother Muna Elmufatish, 41, and little brothers Mustafa and Yehya, aged five and two, also died.

Their father Bassam Kua, 51, and 16-year-old sister Nur escaped from the house but remain in hospital - the Metropolitan Police have said he is in a stable condition while she is described as critical.

Tearful girls from the Crest Girl's Academy where the sisters studied paid tribute to them by leaving flowers at the school.

Bev Bell, principal teacher at Crest Academy, said: "This is the focal point of the community. A lot of the girls won't know where the house was so we felt that we needed to open up so they could come and grieve with their friends."

Mrs Bell described Hanin and Basma as "lovely students" who were both "bright and intelligent". She added: "One girl had just started the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the other had just started in a debating society."

She also paid tribute to injured Nur Kua, a former student at Crest Academy.

The principal teacher said: "Nur was in year eleven until July. She was very high achieving and was in the top 10% of performance in the school. Our hopes and thoughts are with her and her family."

Crest Academy will be opening as normal on Monday but there will be a special assembly for students to pay their respects. A counselling service for girls traumatised by the tragedy will be offered at the school by a children's bereavement agency.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that post-mortem examinations for the six family members who died will take place on Monday morning. Investigations into the cause of the fire, which police have deemed "non-suspicious", are ongoing.

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