The chief suspect in an arson attack that killed eight members of the same family in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in 2002, has been arrested in Pakistan following a decade-long global man hunt.
Shahid Mohammed, 32, had been arrested and bailed soon after the fire which left three generations of the Chisti family dead in May 2002. The dead included five children aged between 6 months and 13 years.
Soon after the incident Mohammed was charged with murder and two counts of manslaughter but jumped bail and had not been seen since.
Police said his re-arrest came after close work between authorities in the UK and those in Pakistan and they are working on bringing him back to this country.
Detective Superintendent Lisa Griffin, from West Yorkshire Police, said: “We have informed members of the Chishti family of the latest development in the case, and will continue to keep them informed throughout.
“Operation Elvington has clearly been a major and long-running inquiry and I thank residents who have come forward with information over the years for their support.
“We remain utterly focused on working with the UK Foreign Office and authorities in the nation in which the 32-year-old is currently being held to bring him back to the UK to be put before a court.”
A composite of the Chisti family
The fire ravaged the terraced house on Osborne Road in Birkby, Huddersfield killing Nafeesa Aziz, 35, and her daughters Tayyaba Bootall, three, Rabiah Bootall, 10, Ateeqa Nawaz, five, Aneesa Nawaz, two, and six-month-old Najeebah Nawaz.
Miss Aziz’s brother, Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, also died in the fire, and their mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, died a week later in hospital.
Moments before the fire began, neighbours reported seeing a group of young men throwing things through the front windows of the house.
In July 2003, three Huddersfield men – Shaied Iqbal, Shakiel Shazad Amir and Nazar Hussain – were convicted for their part in the crime.