Leicester house fire: Three women held over blaze bailed

Shehnila Taufiq, her teenage sons Jamal and Bilal and daughter Zainab, were killed

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The Independent Online

Three women arrested as part of an investigation into a fatal house fire which killed four members of the same family have been bailed.

The women, aged 19, 20 and 27, who were arrested following the blaze at a house in Wood Hill, Leicester, on Friday, have all been released while inquiries continue, according to Leicestershire Police.

Six people have been arrested in connection with the fire, which killed Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, her 19-year-old daughter Zainab, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, in the early hours.

A 19-year-old man has already been released without charge, and detectives are continuing to question two men, aged 18 and 49.

Mrs Taufiq's husband Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, a neurosurgeon, was not in the house at the time and spoke over the weekend of his grief at losing his "beautiful" wife and family.

Detectives have been exploring the possibility that the family's property might have been targeted by mistake in a revenge attack after a man was killed in nearby Kent Street, although there has so far been no evidence to link the two incidents.

Police have said none of those killed in the fire had any connection to the murder of 20-year-old Antoin Akpom, who was fatally assaulted at about 5.30 pm on Thursday, several hours before the fire.

A 19-year-old man remains in custody in relation to Mr Akpom's death after magistrates granted police a further 24 hours to question him last night.

He was arrested in London on Friday.

Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister, of Leicestershire Police, said: "These are complex investigations which are progressing well.

"A large team of detectives are working on the cases, supported by many other specialist staff such as analysts, forensic experts and incident room staff.

"I have attended many of the very detailed daily briefings and there is a strong sense of determination and focus on bringing those responsible for both murders to account.

"Again, I would like to pass on my thanks to the community for their continued support and assistance during these investigations.

"We are working hard to support you wherever we can."