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Friday 27 April 2018

Dublin doctor's murdered family 'not involved in attack' - Police

Dr Taufiq Sattar
Bilal Sattar
Jamal Sattar
Police at the scene in Kent Street, Leicester where a man assaulted yesterday and later died. Police said they cannot rule out a link with the murder to a house fire in Wood Hill where a and her three children were killed.

Four family members killed in a house fire had no connections to a street attack in which a man was murdered, police have confirmed.

Leicestershire Police said officers were still investigating possible links between the murder of a man in Leicester and the deaths of a mother and her three children in the house blaze seven hours later.

But inquiries have found "absolutely no evidence" to suggest anyone who lived at the fire-hit property was involved in any way with the earlier incident.

Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, died along with her 19-year-old daughter and sons, aged 17 and 15, in the blaze at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester, early yesterday.

The mother and her three children had lived and studied in Ireland for several years before leaving to pursue an Islamic education in theUK.

Mrs Taufiq's neurosurgeon husband Mohammad Sattar had continued to work in Ireland. He's a well-respected surgeon, and works in Beaumont Hospital, Temple Street Children's Hospital and the Hermitage Clinic.   He was working in Beaumont Hospital yesterday morning when he got the devastating news, and he departed immediately for the UK.   It is feared the family's property was targeted by mistake in a revenge attack following the earlier incident in nearby Kent Street.

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."  The officer added: "We have three people in custody in relation to the murder of the young man in Kent Street and we continue with the complex forensic investigations at Wood Hill.

"However, we know there are local people who know more about both incidents and the people responsible and we would appeal to their consciences.

"Two families have been devastated by events of the past 48 hours. Please help us to find those responsible."  Anyone with information about either incident is asked to speak to their local beat team, call police on 101 or Crimestoppers which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111.

Police were called to the blaze by the fire service at 12.35am yesterday. The family's children were named by their local mosque as Zainab, Jamal and Bilal, and are understood to have died in their bedrooms at their terraced house.

A man and two women, all aged 19, have been arrested over the killing of the man in his 20s -named in reports as father-of-one Antoin Akpom.

Mrs Taufiq's neurosurgeon husband, Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, is believed to have returned to Leicester from Ireland, where he works.

Neighbours of the family reacted with disbelief to the idea that they could have been intentionally killed - and claimed they may not have been the intended target.

A middle-aged man, who did not want to be named, said: "Most people feel this was meant for somebody else and they got the wrong house."  Leicestershire Police launched a murder inquiry shortly after 5.30pm on Thursday when a man in his 20s was taken from Kent Street - half a mile away from the scene of the fire - to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where he died.

A second inquiry began when neighbours reported flames shooting out of the first floor of the Taufiq family home at 12.30am.

It is understood Mr Sattar's wife was a qualified doctor but was not working.

The family is originally from Pakistan and had a home in Ireland for at least 15 years.

The children moved to the UK with their mother about five years ago for Islamic education.

Press Association

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