The family of two of men killed by a car in Birmingham have called for justice as police are given more time to question suspects.
The uncle of two brothers who were killed when a car ploughed into them as they were protecting shops from looters has said: “This was not about race, this was not about religion.”
Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, were pronounced dead in hospital on Wednesday along with their friend Haroon Jahan, 21, after they were struck by a car in Dudley Road, Winson Green, Birmingham.
Mr Jahan’s father Tariq Jahan made a moving appeal for calm earlier this week after the deaths sparked racial tension in the city. He called on people to “respect the memories of our sons” by ending the violence.
Speaking on Saturday, the brothers’ uncle, Abdullah Khan, 58, said they had given their lives to protect their community.
He added: “We have lost two sons, which has left their family in complete shock and devastation.
This was a pure criminal act. Abdullah Khan
“What we want is justice for our family. This was not about race, this was not about religion – this was about a pure criminal act.”
Detective Superintendent Tim Baker of West Midlands Police said five men aged between 16 and 28, all from the Birmingham area, are now in custody on suspicion of murder.
Two were arrested late on Friday and police have been given extra time to question the other three suspects – a 26-year-old man and two youths aged 16 and 17.
The victims were all pronounced dead in hospital on Wednesday after being hit by a car in Dudley Road, Winson Green, Birmingham. Mr Jahan, a mechanic, and Mr Ali, a self-employed car valeter, both died of severe spinal injuries, while Mr Musavir died of a head injury.
Mr Baker said officers had already recovered two cars in the course of the investigation.
A black Mazda, registration CN06 SHZ, had been found burnt-out very close to the crime scene.
A black Ford Fiesta, registration BT11 GTY, has also been recovered, and police are interested in locating a black Audi A3 which was nearby at the time of the deaths.
Mr Baker said more than 70 police officers and 15 police support staff were involved in the investigation and 400 exhibits had been collected.
He added: “The response from the community has been overwhelming. A number of witnesses came forward and to date we have obtained over 70 witness statements.
“There is a significant amount of CCTV evidence that has also been recovered and is currently being viewed. “I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody with any information that has not yet come forward.”
Meanwhile, a 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire which destroyed Reeves furniture shop during rioting in Croydon.