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Husband Sobs As He Appeals For Murder Clues

The husband of a woman murdered by arsonists in Coventry has tearfully told how he has “lost everything” since her death.

Mohammed Zareen sobbed as he appealed for witnesses to come forward with information about the killers of Nasrin Akhtar.

She died from the effects of smoke inhalation at the family home in Queen Mary’s Road, Foleshill after a blaze was started there deliberately on 10 January shortly after midnight.

Her two daughters, aged three and one, were left in a critical condition but have since left hospital.

Mr Zareen, who was in Pakistan at the time, is trying help them understand what has happened to their mother.

He told a press conference:

“I have lost my wife and they have lost their mother. They are too young. I can’t think why or how this happened.

“If anyone saw anything please ring the police.”

As Mr Zareen was led away to be comforted by relatives, police said they were looking for two white youths seen at the door of the house shortly before the fire was discovered.

DI Iain O’Brien, who is leading a team of 30 officers on the murder hunt, said four teenagers spotted nearby had since been identified and eliminated from the enquiry.

He said the one of the two new suspects had been wearing a dark baseball cap with a cut at the back and possibly with a logo on the front.

He said:

”It is believed they may have left the scene going down Victory Road. We don’t know how relevant this is, but we need to find out who they are.

“This was a callous and deliberate act that resulted in the murder of Nasrin Akhtar and almost took the lives of her two young daughters.

“I believe there are people in the community who may know something. They might think it not to be relevant but I would appeal for these people to come forward.”

Reading from a prepared statement on behalf of Mr Zareen, who was too distressed to read it himself, DI O'Brien added:

"Nasrin was a loving wife to me and a wonderfully devoted mother to our young daughters. We are a close family an we are devastated that she has been taken from us in this way.

"We were married for ten years and have two beautiful daughters. Nasrin's unnecessary death has totally destroyed our lives.

"Whoever is responsible for causing the fire has not only caused the death of my wife, but also tried to take the lives my children, who are thankfully now on the road to recovery."

Mr Zareen, a shopkeeper, aged 44, will be joined by friends at relatives tomorrow at Mrs Akhtar’s funeral.

The couple’s daughters Aysha, aged 18 months, and Bakhtwar, have since been released from hospital and are recovering from their ordeal.

Anyone with information about the arson attack should call police at the incident room on 024 7653 9160 or anonymously on 08000 555111.


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CWN / Crimes, Fires & Accidents / 25 Jan 01
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