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Death of Egyptian in London 'unexplained at this stage,' say UK police

A statement by the UK embassy in Cairo said detectives were currently investigating the cause of the fatal fire in Ealing that led to the death of 21-year-old Egyptian Sherif Habib

Menna Alaa El-Din , Thursday 28 Apr 2016
Sherif Adel Habib
Photo: Dual British-Egyptian national Sherif Adel Habib (Photo courtesy of social media)
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The British embassy in Cairo said Thursday that the death of a dual British-Egyptian national in the UK earlier this month was being “treated as unexplained at this stage in the investigation” by Metropolitan Police. 

In a press release, the embassy said that the detectives were currently investigating the “cause of the fatal fire in Ealing” that led to the death of 21-year-old Sherif Adel Habib.

"I would like to appeal to anyone with any information, or indeed anyone who witnessed the fire, to come forward and speak to the police in confidence,” said detective inspector Janet Livesey of Ealing Police CID.

Habib, a University of Greenwich mechanical engineering graduate, was caught in a garage blaze in Cranleigh Gardens, Southall and was taken to a specialist burn hospital in Essex, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the Metropolitan Police, a 22-year-old man was arrested on “suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life” and has been bailed till mid-June pending further enquiries.

Habib's sister, Randa Habib, told British media outlets that her brother was set to present his documents for application to the UK's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst the day he died.

"He always wanted to go and graduate as an officer,” Randa said.

Habib's father told Egypt’s state-owned MENA agency that he would not abandon his mission to seek justice for his son, saying that he would escalate the case to the UK prime minister.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s presidency expressed condolences for the death of Habib and called on UK authorities to intensify their investigations and identify and arrest the culprits, a statement read.

The presidency added that Habib’s family had the right to know the reasons behind his death and see that justice is served. 

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