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Five held in blaze family probe
Police have said they cannot rule out a house fire in Leicester being linked to the murder of a man nearby (Rui Vieira/PA)
Five people have been arrested in connection with a suspected arson attack which claimed the lives of four members of the same family.
Leicestershire Police said three women aged 19, 20, and 27, and two men, aged 49 and 19, were detained over the fatal blaze.
News of the arrests came minutes after Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar spoke of his pain at the loss of his wife, daughter and teenage sons in a severe fire at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester.
In his statement to the media, made after special prayers were said for his family at his local mosque, Mr Sattar said he hoped justice would prevail. The doctor, who works as a neurosurgeon in Ireland, also thanked members of the community for supporting him since the deaths of his "beautiful" wife, daughter and sons.
Summoning the courage and strength to speak publicly for almost two minutes just a day after learning of the deaths on his return to the UK, Mr Sattar 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 and in future this should not happen to any family in the UK."
Thanking the police for their work to investigate the fatal blaze, the bereaved husband added: "The people of Leicester have been very supportive. I am also thankful to the local mosque - they made me feel that despite losing my immediate entire family, the entire community in Leicester is family to me."
Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, died with her 19-year-old daughter and sons, aged 17 and 15, in the blaze at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester, early on Friday. It is feared the family's property was targeted by mistake in a revenge attack following a fatal assault in nearby Kent Street. Inquiries have found no evidence to suggest anyone who lived at the fire-hit property was involved in any way with the earlier incident.
Leicestershire's Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said in a statement: "While we are investigating links between the two crimes there is absolutely no evidence to suggest those who died in the fire, or indeed anyone else who lives in that property, was involved in the assault in Kent Street.
"Because of the close proximity - in terms of time and location - of the two incidents, it is right that we look at whether there are links between the two crimes. However, at this stage in our investigations we have found nothing to suggest the residents of the house devastated by the fire had anything to do with the Kent Street incident."
A man and two women have been arrested in connection with the murder of the man who was attacked in Kent Street, but no arrests have yet been made in connection with the fire. Friends of the victim of the Kent Street attack, named in reports as Antoin Akpom, visited the scene to pay their respects but were too upset to speak to reporters.