Leicester house fire deaths: Father is 'bird without wings'

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Media captionThe husband and father of the victims, Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, led prayers at the funeral

A neurosurgeon whose family died in a house fire in Leicester has described himself as "a bird without wings".

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter Zainab, 19, and two sons, Bilal, 17, and 15-year-old Jamal, died after their home was set alight on 13 September.

Eight people have been charged with murder over the attack.

The husband and father of the victims, Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, who is based in Dublin, led prayers at their funeral in the Irish capital.

"This is a very sad occasion for me," said Dr Taufiq, who works at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.

"You can say now I am bird without any wings. I have nobody with me now."

More than 1,000 people attended the Islamic service at Warrenstown House in the Blanchardstown area of the city, which Dr Taufiq and his family had planned to turn into an Islamic education centre.

Image caption Bilal and Jamal Taufiq were killed in the fire

The surgeon said he had been heartened by all the support he had received from across Ireland since the tragedy.

He thanked both medical colleagues and patients who had passed on their condolences.

"Thank you very much for all of you coming here this morning," he told mourners.

"It's cold and I appreciate it. I can see many of our Irish friends are here as well."

Dr Taufiq has credited his wife's vision for encouraging him to help set up Islamic community projects in Dublin.

He also revealed that it was the family's wish to return to Ireland once their children had completed their education in England.

After prayers, the family members were buried in Newcastle cemetery on the outskirts of Dublin.

The bodies of his family were brought into Dublin on an overnight ferry after about 7,000 people gathered in Leicester's Spinney Hill Park to pay their respects.

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