Gunshots in a fatal double shooting in east London were masked by Diwali fireworks – while the sound of screams has become normal, according to one neighbour.

Another woman said she now feared to go out at night after two men were shot dead in the early hours of this morning, and a third was critically injured.

Armed police were called to in Henley Road, Ilford, by the London Ambulance Service at 12.16am following reports of shots fired in a fight.

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Officers found three men with gunshot injuries. One, a man in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another died a short time later, and a third man in his 30 was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

A woman who lives near the scene said the sounds of gunshots were drowned out by fireworks for the Hindu Festival of Lights Diwali, which began on Monday.

Shama Ahmad, 50, whose flat is just yards from where the two men were shot, told the PA news agency: “I live in a flat upstairs here, I heard some screaming, shouting, and I was a bit shaken by the screams but this is very common around this area.

“I just looked from my window upstairs and the police and the helicopter above.

“There was fireworks going right in front of my flat, so with the fireworks the shots weren’t heard at all.

“I live around the corner here and I’m a bit wary, me and my family are concerned about this.”

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A large police cordon has been put in place on the residential street, while forensic investigators comb the area for evidence.

Read more: "Properly funded policing" needed to tackle gun crime after two shot dead

Police believe they know the identity of the victim in his 20s and are working to confirm the identity of the other man is ongoing. Officers are working to inform their next of kin.

There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

Speaking at the scene, Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal called for more policing.

He said: “I think more police across the whole of the capital, these are numbers that have been cut over successive governments, we have to make sure we get the police here.

“We have been complaining about this in my role as London Councils lead on crime and community safety, I made that plea to the new Metropolitan Police commissioner only last week and he agrees that we need more police.”

He added: “I think sometimes these things build up over time and that’s where the police is needed to stop that building up over time and I think if we could get that we would be in a better place.”

Metropolitan police inspector Dave Holgate said his thoughts are with the families.

Another woman living close to the scene told ITV News she was scared to go out at night.

Shamina, who has lived in Ilford for two years, said she heard screams followed by the sound of the police helicopter in the early hours of this morning.

The customer services assistant described the area around Henley Road as "a bit rough", particularly at night, and said she rarely leaves her house after 10pm.

"It was terrible and scary. I've got to be very careful in this area," she explained.

"I was upstairs in my flat when I heard screaming but I didn't come out.

"I opened my window to see what was happening and I saw the police cordon," she added.

Another neighbour told ITV he blamed unemployment for problems in the area together with a lack of police and social workers.

"We need someone to listen and hear what the local issues are and then there must be determination to resolve it," said Muhammed Choudhary.

"At the moment no one is taking care of anything.

"It's very, very tense.

"Some [of the problems] are drug related but the police should take care of it," he added.

Crime scenes and road closures are in place. Any witnesses or those with information, video or images that could assist police, should call 101 or tweet @MetCC ref CAD 99/25 Oct.