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Five questioned over deadly arson

Five people are being questioned by police about a suspected arson attack which killed a mother and her three teenage children.

Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, died with her 19-year-old daughter Zainab and sons, Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, in the fire in Wood Hill, Leicester, in the early hours of Friday.

Police have said none of those killed in the fire had any link to the murder of a man in a nearby street hours earlier, but detectives are investigating whether their home was mistakenly targeted in a revenge attack following his death.

Three women, aged 19, 20 and 27, and two men aged 49 and 19, were detained by police on Saturday in connection with the suspected arson attack. The 19-year-old man has since been released without charge, but an 18-year-old man was arrested last night in connection with the fire.

Neurosurgeon Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar has spoken of his pain at losing his wife, sons and daughter in the fire. Addressing the media outside the Jame Mosque in Spinney Hills, Mr Satter said: "All of you know of the tragic incident in which my entire family has passed away. I deeply miss my beautiful wife and three beautiful children. What has happened has happened and nothing can be reversed but I hope justice prevails."

Police have been granted further time to question a man being held in connection with the fatal attack in Kent Street, Leicester, which took place around seven hours before fire crews were called to nearby Wood Hill.

Relatives of 20-year-old victim Antoin Akpom appealed for calm in the community yesterday and described him as a loving father who was devoted to his young son.

Mr Akpom's uncle, Ronny Akpom, said: "Antoin was a loving and devoted father, a hard working young man recognised as a positive role model for all sections of the community. The memory of his smile and kindness will remain with everyone who knew him.

"An innocent life has been lost and the family calls for everyone to remain calm and united, and to assist the police with their inquiry. More than ever we need cohesion in the community now. Our deepest condolences go to the Sattar family, from Wood Hill, who have also tragically lost family members. We would like to thank everyone for their support at this time of unbearable grief."

A minute's silence was held before matches played by Leicester Nirvana FC this weekend as a mark of respect to Mr Akpom, a keen footballer and coach.


From Belfast Telegraph