FAMILY and friends have paid tribute after the tragic deaths of two cousins, aged 13 and 14, who died within hours of each other after reportedly contracting an infection.

Keighley boy Ibraheem Asghar, 13, died at Manchester Children's Hospital and his cousin Asad Shazad Hussain, 14, also from Keighley, died at Leeds Children's Hospital, said Cllr Mohsin Hussain (Keighley Central), who is a relative of the two boys.

Janaza Announcements also announced the deaths. A joint funeral was held for the boys on Thursday at Keighley Jamia Masjid.

Cllr Hussain said it is believed both boys died of complications from Strep A, although he said both children had been "in and out of hospital" since birth.

Cllr Hussain, who is a second cousin to both boys, said he was called by a family member last night and went to Manchester Children's Hospital, where young Ibraheem tragically passed away at around 11pm.

He then received a call with even more sad news that Asad had passed away at 4am at Leeds Children's Hospital.

"This is a very difficult time for the family," said Cllr Hussain. "They've both been poorly since birth and they've been in and out of hospital but in the past two weeks they've been very ill. Both had been on oxygen from an infection caused by Strep A."

He said both families have suffered through tragedy with the loss of other children.

"This has had a knock-on emotional effect on them. Losing children is bad enough, but this is so difficult. It's been a challenging day."

Cllr Zafar Ali (Keighley Central), who has known the family for 50 years, said: "It's very tragic and I'm very sad for the family. It's very hard for them to cope.

"I have a lot of sympathy for them.

"I've been very close to the family for the last 50 years. They are a very large family and I grieve with them.

"I pray for them and hope that God will give them patience.

"My condolences are with the family at this hard time.

"It's a great tragedy.

"It's been a very hard life for the family. I've shared in their happiness but also in their sorrow."

Cllr Hussain added: "My father (former Cllr Abid Hussain) died two years ago on Christmas Eve. We've been preparing to have a gathering for him at the mosque when all of a sudden we received this tragic news.

"It's been one of the most challenging days of my life."