Brother and Sister in Petrol Bomb Horror; the Duchess of York

Article excerpt

Two children were fighting for life after a petrol-bomber struck at their home.

Police were mystified by the attack which left five-year-old Sadia Shakil and her brother Aqib, six, critically ill with 50 per cent burns. And the children's uncle said he could not understand why anyone would harm the family.

Flames engulfed the semidetached house in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, after a petrol bomb was hurled through a downstairs window late on Thursday night. After hearing a smoke alarm the children's father, Shakil Ahmed, and his wife Naila scrambled to safety.

Naila, 29, who is five months pregnant, climbed out of an upstairs window on to a flat roof while Shakil tried to rescue the children. But the 29-year-old shop owner was beaten back.

Two firemen later dragged them to safety. After resuscitation, they were taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital with severe burns to the face and hands. Both were said to be stable last night.

The uncle, Tasawar Hussain, said: 'Everyone is totally shocked. …