London: Three British Sikhs were stabbed to death after a street fight between two groups within the community in east London, Scotland Yard said on Monday.
Two men, aged 29 and 29, have been arrested on suspicion of murder after an investigation was launched on Sunday night, when emergency services were called to an altercation in Seven Kings area of Redbrigde, Ilford, and found three men, aged in their 20s and 30s, suffering stab injuries.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
"We believe the parties involved were from the Sikh community and known to each other. A fight has taken place which has escalated, resulting in three people being fatally attacked," said Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, Commander of the Metropolitan Police East Area Command. "This investigation remains in its early stages and work continues to establish the exact sequence of events that led to this shocking incident. Residents in and around the Seven Kings area will see extra officers on patrol; if you have any concerns, or information that could assist the investigation, please stop and speak to them," he said.
The Met Police said its officers are in the process of establishing the formal identification of the victims and informing the next of kin before the names of those murdered can be released following post-mortem examinations.
They said the "thorough investigation" is being led by homicide detectives from the Met Police's Specialist Crime and crime scenes are in place in the area as officers continue a full forensic examination.
"The horrific triple stabbing in Seven Kings in Redbridge is a tragic reminder of the evil scourge of knife crime that continues to plague our country," London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement on Monday.
"The only way we will tackle violent crime for good is with a laser-like focus on catching criminals by being tough on crime and, just as importantly, by addressing the underlying root causes of violence such as poverty, inequality and social alienation," he said.
The British capital has witnessed a rise in attacks on its streets, with the London's homicide figures last year recorded as 149, up from 133 in 2018.
Jas Athwal, the British Sikh leader of the local Redbridge Council of the area, said he believed Sunday's triple stabbings were an isolated incident involving the local Sikh community.
"An incident like this is unheard of within the Sikh community here in Redbridge," he said.
"I think tragically there are at least three families who are going to be in mourning and this is going to last a lifetime for the people left behind. We've got to look at the causes of why this happened and address those," he said.