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Four boys face stabbing murder quiz

Four teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 52-year-old man was stabbed to death.

The youngsters, all believed to be aged between 13 and 14, are being held in custody at a north London police station.

Residents in Enfield expressed their grief and shock at the incident.

The victim, who was described as a "lovely man", is believed to have been involved in a verbal altercation with a group of boys in their mid-teens, as he attempted to gain entry into a block of flats.

Police believe the teenagers were attempting to get into a party in another part of the building when they had a disagreement with the victim.

The man - who was with a woman - continued into the block but was followed by two of the boys. He was then stabbed.

Police and London's air ambulance attended and pronounced the man dead at the scene at 8.37pm.

The entrance to the flats has been cordoned off and forensic teams continue to investigate the surrounding area.

The man is believed to have lived on the second floor of the building with his partner, who is thought to work as a street cleaner for the local council.

One resident of the sixth floor believes he knew the victim, whom he described as Irish.

He said: "If it is the guy I think it is, he was a lovely guy. He was really hard-working. He was a construction worker. I talk to him all the time. He's a good guy. We talk about what's been happening in the building.

"His partner is a street cleaner for the council. By the way she walks she has some sort of disability."

Police said that, while they believe they know the identity of the victim, they have yet to complete a formal identification and inquiries are still under way to inform all next of kin.

Detective Chief Inspector Neale Baldock, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, who is leading the investigation, said: "Our initial inquiries have established that there was a supervised party taking place at another address within the block and the group of males were trying to gain access to this.

"The victim and this group were not known to each other - what started as a minor verbal altercation has escalated into a shocking act of violence."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 0208 345 1570 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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