Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 07:58 UK

Flat fire pair stabbed to death

burned-out flat at Sterling Gardens
The two bodies were found in the ground-floor flat

The bodies of two men found after a fire in a flat had stab wounds to the head, neck and chest, the Metropolitan Police have revealed.

The murdered men are believed to be French exchange students in their 20s, but have not been formally identified.

The bodies were found in a ground floor flat in Sterling Gardens, New Cross, south-east London, on Sunday night.

French newspaper le Figaro reported that the two men studied in Clermont-Ferrand, in central France.

French minister Valerie Pecresse expressed her compassion and immense sadness at news of the deaths.

Appeal to public

The emergency services were called to the building at about 2200 BST on Sunday.

Detectives have established an incident room at Sutton and are working with the fire service to establish the cause of the blaze.

Det Ch Insp Mick Duthie said: "I am appealing for anyone who was in the area of Sterling Gardens at any time over the weekend, and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious near the address, to get in touch.

"I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone near the premises around 2130 BST on Sunday."

Police are expected to reveal further details and renew their appeal for information at a news conference later.


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