Egyptian man dies in suspected arson attack in London

Egyptian man dies in suspected arson attack in London
2 min read
27 April, 2016
Sherif Adel Habib, 21, has died in a UK hospital after his garage was set ablaze in a suspected arson attack.
Habib was pronounced dead in hospital on Tuesday [Facebook]

An Egyptian man has died after his garage in west London was set on fire in a suspected arson attack, sparking calls from Egyptian authorities for a full investigation.

Sherif Adel Habib was pulled from the blaze in Southall by firefighters in the early hours of Monday and was rushed to a specialist burns unit in Essex for treatment.

On Tuesday, the 21-year-old was pronounced dead in hospital, despite the efforts of doctors.

London's Metropolitan Police told The New Arab that a man in his 20s has now been "arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life".

Egypt's foreign ministry has said in a statement that its consulate in London was following the investigation "around the clock".

The ministry spokesman said the consulate was currently following up on investigations conducted by the Met police, as well as providing the necessary assistance to Habib's family.

The office of Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has also weighed in on the case.

"The Presidency of the Arab Republic of Egypt extends its sincere condolences to his family," read a statement from Cairo. "The Egyptian State places great importance on preserving the lives of its citizens inside and outside of Egypt."

Habib's friends have started an online campaign to ensure that the authorities get to the bottom of the case.

"It is important to us that justice is seen to be served and the truth to come as to why this very bright, highly educated, well brought up young man should lose his life in such a brutal and inhumane manner," said the campaign's creator, Maryouma Faragalla.

The British embassy in Cairo is also carefully following the details of the case as they emerge.

"Further information about the investigation will remain a matter for the Metropolitan Police, under the requirements of UK law and the approach necessary to maximise the chances of achieving justice in the courts in this case," said an embassy spokesman in the Eyptian capital.