Police have taken five people in for questioning over a suspected arson attack in leicester that left four members of a family dead.
Police have taken five people in for questioning over a suspected arson attack in Leicester that left four members of a family dead.

The father who lost his three children and wife in a suspected arson attack on his home in Leicester has spoken of his grief, as police questioned five people over the blaze.

Fire engulfed the Wood Hill terraced home just after midnight on Friday, with neighbours struggling to save the family trapped inside.

Firefighters found Shehnila Taufiq, her teenage sons Jamal and Bilal and daughter Zainab, 19, dead in an upstairs bedroom.

Doctor Muhammad Taufiq al Sattar, who is a neurosurgeon, was working in Ireland at the time of the fire, and has since flown back to the UK.

Speaking at the Jame Mosque in Leicester, Dr Taufiq said: "All of you know 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 will prevail and in future this should not happen to any family in the UK."

He thanked police and the people of Leicester for their support.

Police sources say that they are investigating the possibility that the house was torched by people who mistakenly believed those responsible for the fatal attack on Antoin Akpom lived there.

Akpom died after an assault on Thursday in Kent Street, about a mile from Wood Hill.

Officers say that no-one in the Taufiq family home has been linked to the attack.

Three women, aged 27, 20 and 19, and two men aged 49 and 19 were arrested on Saturday afternoon. The two youngest women have since been released.

Police have made door-to-door enquiries, and continue to appeal to anyone with relevant information to come forward.

Roger Bannister, Assistant Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, said: "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."

"It's a dynamic and fast-moving inquiry," he said.

Speaking about the families of both victims he said: "I sit here before you today appealing for anyone quite simply to come forward. Two families have been absolutely devastated, whole communities have been rocked."

Family and friends paid tribute to Mr Akpom, who was a player and coach at Leicester Nirvana FC.

The club held a minute's silence in his memory at games on Saturday, with more planned for Sunday.

His sister, Lianne Murray, said Mr Akpom had planned to train as a teacher and worked at Sparkenhoe Primary School in Leicester.

"He was my baby brother, he was my best friend, and my right arm," she added.